How does body image impact mental health?
Impact is body image half on a mental health Darren Dodd discusses while bodies often cause of shame and distress and what can be done about two with Chris O'Sullivan, the UK's mental health foundation and London deputy teacher vanilla Kennedy. Chris this year steam for mental health wellness week in the UK is body image. Why they chose in that? Well, it's something that many people relate to. But there isn't always disgusted and always out in the open something that baiters all ages and stages of our life from schools in young people to lay to life. And it's the bit challenging is something that people don't find it easy to talk about. And as we get further into our work to promote mental health awareness. We want to explore some of the more difficult topics and make some progress on those you put up some interest in research gives you the top lines from that. Yeah. We wanted to know bit more about body image. So last year, we covered stress and we discovered around twenty percent of people felt by their body image caused them to feel overwhelmed or unable to Cape in the last year. So we wanted to know more about body image. And the figures are quite stark. I mean, we expected to see quite a high proportion of people having. Ng trouble with their body image, and how it made them feel but around eighteen percent of UK adults in our survey of four thousand five hundred dollars with yougov said that they had had suicidal thoughts as a result of their body image around a third had experienced feelings of anxiety and around third. So thirty five percent had experienced depression. We also asked people whether they had felt take your emotions in relating to their body image and nineteen percent of UK handles had said that they were disgusted as a result of their body image and twenty percents said they hid experienced shame. So these are emotions we don't want people to feel particularly since the proportion of respondents saying that they felt proud or happy was relatively low at nine percent and sixteen percent. So we see that there's an issue here. And we wanted to look into that a little bit more we had gender. For example, we find that more women than men had reported having liberally themselves as a result can. Of their body image around one in ten of the women who responded to the survey compared to four percent of men but twenty five percent of men in the survey reported feeling depressed about their body image. So it's not just a women's issue. Although is something that affects women in particular young women and that needs to be addressed. It's not just adults accosted spats, though, the image and worries among school kids and teenagers. You've got some research coming out on that swell. Right. Absolutely. So in the main survey we look to eighteen to twenty four rediscovered the eighteen twenty fours generally had more concerns about their body image. But we did a specific poll with teenagers and one of the things that came up were cross the board with social media. So twenty percent of UK adults belt that images on social media had caused them worries about their body image. And that was forty six percent of eighteen to twenty thousand survey. Amazon broadly similar to what we were hearing from teenagers. What indeed we've been hearing from young people through our schools programs and our young people's programmes. Which is just another reason why this is an issue that we need. To concentrate on less. It could time to turn to finunc. Finale. How much of a problem is it causing? I teach at a very academic girls school with an Aggripa very academic gull schools, and I really agree with Chris that this is an issue that justifies girls. However, what's really interesting to me is that when a prospective parents expect the atmosphere our school one of the questions, I always ask is is there a lot of issues around body image. Is there a lot of anorexia bulimia your school? Obviously. I answer gory. No because we're incredibly practical about it. But it's interesting that they always ask that of girls schools, and I say to them did you also have eaten when you send your boy there in the answer's always. No. And my feeling is that with women in particular, we buy into the beauty and diet and exercise industry with such vigor, and we spend billions on those industries, and it feels to me that the lack of funding and awareness around. These issues is actually quite cynical and deliberate because it's not really an industry or government interests. Make this a better situation for young people. You see, for example, the lack of regulation around social media. Now, I think we'll all agree that we don't know yet because it's grown so quickly and without any sense of control and any real research into it. How much of an impact session media hasn't body image? But I do know that having been a teenage girl and worked with literally thousands of them, the teenage girls potential to compare herself negatively to others, and particularly the way that she looks has to be exacerbated by the opportunity to do that relentlessly online. So you know, I used to pats compare myself Kate Winslet in a magazine, but I wasn't looking at the celebrities ation of ordinary people all over my social media for seven to nine hours a day. So I think it's potentially really dangerous, and I think we have to look at more than just providing child and adolescent mental health services at the end of the process where things have really fallen apart and teenagers sent hospital's director and focused much on early intervention. And that's why what Chris in the mental health foundation. Do. Doing in terms of lobbying against the relentlessness of messaging by advertising campaigns. And so on is so important social media, usually grabs the headlines for this. Oh, we confusing cause and effect here. Could it be that troubled kids are seeking solace online? How could we ever know? But what I would say a totally buy into the nation that only child may well, spend more time gaming on social media than a child has an active healthy Seychelle life with lots of hobbies. And so on However, I don't know any young people he wants online, and I don't think that we have an entire generation of lonely children seeking solace online. So what we do know is the genie's out of the bottle, and I wouldn't want to demonize the internet, and in some ways, if you look at how for example, politically active generation is you look at someone like gratitude and Berg and the way that she sees the internet to raise environmental issues young people use the internet incredibly, positively as well, so it mustn't demonize it and make the move feel like they can't look at Kardashian without falling apart thing, that's an issue. But what I think is that we really need to be helping them build. Sense of self esteem is actually about liking themselves not just focusing on the shell of them and what they perform to other people. It's actually about I own my space. I like my voice I like my opinions. I've got good friends just social media traditional majors well-placed apart. Of course, it does. I recently rates are letter to net flex about a film to the bone, which in my view in numerously glamorized what it is to suffer manorexic, which is a potentially fatal and incredibly dangerous disease. And what that film, which was watched by literally millions of young people were saying was in fact, being thin is a good thing. And it was teaching you how to be just in enough but not being hospital, which I think is insane. Chris at