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ICYMI: social media alert, social and emotional wellbeing, a viral tweet, global health – and events not to miss

The world faces a projected shortfall of 10 million health workers by 2030, the World Health Assembly has been told in Geneva this week. The column also links to resources for First Nations people on social and emotional wellbeing during these challenging times, and updates on global health.

Meanwhile, one of Jennifer Doggett’s recent tweets on COVID has gone, ahem, viral.

The quotable?

Research shows that diplomats have been lobbying on behalf of tobacco companies for many years, and that this is part of a broader industry strategy to undermine public health and further the commercial objectives of tobacco companies.”


Social media alert

The United States Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy has issued a statement of concern about the impact of social media on young peoples’ mental health, with recommendations for policymakers, technology companies, parents and caregivers, researchers, children and teenagers.

A Surgeon General’s Advisory is a public statement that calls the American people’s attention to an urgent public health issue and provides recommendations for how it should be addressed. Advisories are reserved for significant public health challenges that require the nation’s immediate awareness and action.

It urges policymakers to strengthen protections to ensure greater safety for children interacting with all social media platforms, and to develop age-appropriate health and safety standards for technology platforms.

Tech companies are urged to prioritise user health and safety in the design and development of social media products and services, and ensure default settings for children are set to highest safety and privacy standards.

The advisory says more research is needed to fully understand the impact of social media but that there are “ample indicators” social media can also have a profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.

Nearly every teenager in America uses social media, and yet we do not have enough evidence to conclude that it is sufficiently safe for them. Our children have become unknowing participants in a decades-long experiment.

“We must acknowledge the growing body of research about potential harms, increase our collective understanding of the risks associated with social media use, and urgently take action to create safe and healthy digital environments that minimise harm and safeguard children’s and adolescents’ mental health and well-being during critical stages of development.”

The advisory says extreme, inappropriate, and harmful content continues to be easily and widely accessible by children and adolescents. This can be spread through direct pushes, unwanted content exchanges, and algorithmic designs.

Read a related statement from the US Department of Health and Human Services.


Social and emotional wellbeing

Joint Statement by Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia, 13 Yarn and Healing Foundation: The Voice Referendum and accompanying debate is an important conversation that, as a country, we cannot shy away from. However, for First Nations people it comes with the burden of increases in incidences and experiences of racism. Racism has very negative effects on individual wellbeing, and the wellbeing of First Nations families and communities. This includes feelings of shame, lack of sleep and increased anxiety and depression.

As organisations working to improve and promote social and emotional wellbeing, mental health, and healing we have joined together to encourage mob to check in with themselves and others. A lot of resources and actions are needed to combat racism, and sometimes that can make us feel even more powerless. Arming ourselves with information on ways we can take care of our social and emotional wellbeing, and look out for others, is one important step we can make together.

We express our commitment to deepen our collaboration to respond to the challenges of racism and improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing, mental health, and healing. This collaboration brings many benefits, but importantly creates recognition regarding enhanced opportunities for partnering with others.

Further to this joint statement our organisations will be developing a collection of community self-care resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, families.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, our connection to culture, country, community, kin, and family are critical to our wellness. There are things that we can all do to keep our spirits strong, and our families and communities supported, and we hope the featured resources are able to assist you to get started. Resources are available on our website Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia, The Healing Foundation and 13Yarn.


Global health

The World Health Assembly is underway in Geneva.

Read FARE’s media release.Read the open letter raising concerns about the AUKUS agreement. See the journal


COVID

This tweet by Jennifer Doggett on 18 May had recorded 420,000 views by 1am AEST on 25 May. See the study here.


First Nations


Climate and health

See the study. It concludes: “Cardiac imaging, pharmaceutical prescribing and in-hospital care including cardiac surgery have significant environmental impacts, including CO2e emissions which contribute to climate-related threats to human health. Importantly, many opportunities to effectively reduce environmental impacts exist within cardiac care, and can provide economic, health and social cobenefits.”

This is an interesting example of climate communications….


Aged care

Read the article on aged care.


Commercial determinants of health

Read the article on infant feeding. How diplomats are lobbying for tobacco companies:

“Research shows that diplomats have been lobbying on behalf of tobacco companies for many years, and that this is part of a broader industry strategy to undermine public health and further the commercial objectives of tobacco companies…Much of this lobbying activity has taken place in low and middle-income countries. These countries are important sources of new customers for tobacco companies as markets in higher income countries where consumption is generally falling.”


#AusPol

Read the release on secrecy laws.


#CroakeyREAD


Awards, jobs and events


See previous editions of ICYMI….

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