Childline Gibraltar yesterday hosted a seminar on social media and body image to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.
Childline seminar called ‘Social Media, Body Image and Our Teenagers’ focused on educating people on how to respond when these issues arise and was delivered by two NSPCC practitioners from the UK.
The seminar was attended by Childline volunteers, the Gibraltar Health Authority, Royal Gibraltar Police, the Department of Education, Care Agency and Youth Services.
Children’s Mental Health Week ends this Sunday and aims to aid children cope with life’s challenges.
The Minister for Health Neil Costa stressed the importance of the work Childline undertakes as he opened the day-long seminar.
“Certainly there is a debate about whether social media is any worse or any better than old media,” Mr Costa said.
“My view is that social media is certainly a new technology that represents old problems under new guises.”
Mr Costa highlighted that very few children in Gibraltar are likely not to have access to the internet.
“The key difference, in my mind, between the usual conventional media and Facebook and social is the fact that whereas parents before could limit the type of film that children watch, Facebook will always be there at any time,” Mr Costa said.
“Crucially people can comment and there has been a lot of debate about bullying. Outside of school children used to be safeguarded by parents, but now the bullying can continue online.”