We recently saw Russia invade Ukraine, which prompted millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes as the war intensified. Disturbing videos and photos of the damage done to buildings and people in cities such as Kharkov and Kyiv can be accessed online, even by those thousands of miles away.
With many watching the crisis unfold through the standard news sources as well as on social media applications such as Instagram and TikTok, checking for updates isn’t hard to do. However, research has found that coverage of traumatic events on the news can negatively affect the mental health of viewers.
Professor Roxane Cohen Silver of the University of California Irvine stated that the number of media an individual consumed and how graphic the content consumed was impacted the individual’s mental health. Silver, who specializes in psychological science, explained in a 2013 study how individuals who watched roughly four hours of TV coverage daily during the week that followed the September 11 attacks reported increased stress and symptoms of PTSD; they also had a higher risk of developing health issues in the future in comparison to those who watched fewer hours.
Separate research also found that the consumption of roughly five to six hours of news coverage on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was associated with higher acute stress.
This research highlights a link between news coverage and a strong negative impact on individuals who aren’t impacted directly by a crisis.
Unlike in traditional media outlets where content that is too graphic may not be shown, individuals can take pictures or record videos and distribute them on social media without any accompanying warning, which may exacerbate an individual’s mental health when viewed. It doesn’t help that social media is also used to spread misinformation.
While there are downsides to its use, social media can also be utilized productively. For instance, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has used it to foster solidarity and strength among the country’s citizens. We have also seen social media being used by Ukranians and others to share the realities of the war, obtain support and resources for the war efforts, and even contact family members.
While wanting to stay up-to-date on the latest is understandable, researchers advise against the constant need to refresh one’s social media for the latest updates. Researchers note that there are other ways that people can stay engaged in response to the crisis, including supporting individuals in your community who have ties to Ukraine, writing to representatives or donating funds to organizations that support Ukraine.
And for those who end up being diagnosed with mental health problems, professional help is at hand , with companies such as Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) (FSE: ONFA) developing novel treatments from psychedelics in the hope of revolutionizing mental health treatment as we currently know it.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MYCOF
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