London, 30/10/2023 — On 4 October 2023, the BMJ (British Medical Journal), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), brought together 23 global experts for a pivotal roundtable meeting. The mission: to discuss guiding principles of developmentally appropriate mental health content and communication available online for young people.

Made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from YouTube, the roundtable delved into the complex landscape of youth mental health content provided online through multiple channels including social media platforms. During the meeting, the experts discussed the benefits and challenges associated with guiding principles, meticulously reviewing and challenging a list of principles developed from a rapid review of the existing evidence and consultations with young people.

A forthcoming meeting report is being prepared for release by BMJ, encapsulating the insights and guiding principles discussed by the panel of experts. The overarching goal is to provide digital platforms with a set of guiding principles that will empower platforms to scale mental health features specifically for young people. By doing so, the aim is that the content displayed will be more developmentally appropriate and safe for this demographic.

“Digital platforms have an impact on the mental health of youth,” said Dr Ashley McKimm, Director of Partnership Development at the BMJ. “With this roundtable we are aiming to help support the integration of content that promotes mental health and help-seeking behaviours for young people.”

Mental health issues in adolescents increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic and this consultation stands as an important first step to ensure that the digital landscape becomes a safer, more supportive space for them.

For further information or media inquiries, please contact:
Lalitha Bhagavatheeswaran
Senior Programme and Partnerships Manager, BMJ