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Social Media and the impact on Adolescent Mental Health

Mental health Awareness week provides a perfect opportunity to explore the progress the UK has made in tackling adolescent mental health issues and some of the problems which still need to be addressed in order to fully help young people. Undoubtedly the last 12 months have showcased a growing presence of mental health professionals within schools to provide support to young people along with mental health projects such as Young Minds Amplified geared towards training public sector workers to become more aware of spotting the early signs of adolescent mental distress. Therefore with this in mind it’s clear the UK has made progress in raising awareness of adolescent mental health issues amongst public sector workers and becoming more multi-faceted in how we are tackling this issue. However despite this progress, the waiting times for CAMHS still remain unacceptable with at least 60% of young people referred by GPs still failing to receive treatment. Mental health issues amongst young people today are on the rise in an increasingly unpredictable world whereby younger generations are continuously exposed to social pressures through social media resulting in mental distress. In fact although British society has become more aware of these issues and the government has showcased a willingness to tackle these problems more still needs to be done. The presence of mental health experts within schools and training teachers to become more aware of adolescent mental health issues provides an opportunity to bridge the gap of waiting times for treatment young people are currently facing. In line with this research also had a crucial role to play in showcasing how society can understand and use technological tools such as social media to tackle adolescent mental issues. With respect to mental health awareness week the Youth Voice Journal is currently sending out calls for papers on themed issues and our latest edition is dedicated to calls for research papers exploring mental health and all the prevailing issues around this topic.

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Social Media and the links to Youth Crime

With the rise of violent crime and murder in England’s capital within the first 5 months of the year I think it is important to explore what is fuelling this rise and particularly amongst young people. With 55 murders since the start of 2018 and the majority of them being young people London is facing the most unprecedented rise in violent crime and murder since 2005. However in order to recognise the reasons for this recent spike it is important to recognise the role social media today is playing alongside the more traditional socio-economic factors leading young people to engage and too often become victims of violent crime. Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick in an interview with the Times newspaper blamed social media for London’s increasing crime rate stating social media is escalating online threats into offline physical confrontation with devastating consequences. Undoubtedly social media has bought violent and criminal gang confrontations into the wider public spectrum with social media accounts dedicated to sharing violent fights or confrontations continuously gathering attention. However despite this to account the unprecedented rise of violent crime in London amongst young people down to social media alone fails to account for the impact of budget cuts on the police and the profound socio-economic factors driving young people to engage in crime. Social media today has simply amplified and exacerbated violent crime within London and particularly its impact on young people. Violent crime amongst young people today has an online public audience coercing young people to retaliate due to the social pressure of being exposed. In spite of this core roots of the increasing murder rate are still the socio-economic situations of poverty these young people find themselves in and the increasing lure of crime as a way out.  Social media companies need to take responsibility in controlling the violent footage being shared on their platforms and the subsequent impact this is having on young people. Alongside professionals need to be trained in being aware of how social media is spiralling the lives of young people out of their control due to online public audiences. Although social media is not the cause of violent crime it remains a tool which we must monitor and understand in order to fully address the causes of the unprecedented rise of murders within London and its impact on young people.

Public Health Approach to Youth Crime

In our latest blog post the Youth Voice Journal would like to explore and write about the idea of a public health approach to youth crime and how this solution could be crucial in halting London’s knife crime epidemic which has escalated to new levels in 2018.  A public health model contends crime should be viewed as an infectious disease which can then be altered by challenging and changing the behavioural norms of those affected by it. In essence treating crime as a public health matter means society must address the underlying issues of social exclusion, poverty, unemployment and poor housing which resulted in a victim being stabbed. Such an approach undoubtedly requires a holistic intervention with multi-agency work among the police, housing officers, medical professionals and teachers all working together to help young people affected by crime. In fact this public health approach to crime and particular youth crime has been successfully implemented and used in both Glasgow and Chicago; two cities labelled as the murder and violent capitals of the world. In both these cities, officials have focused on helping victims and young people associated with gangs in finding employment, housing and diffusing tensions among rival gangs. In working alongside youth workers and former prisoners, officials have managed to gain access to at risk youth and build relationships in order to address the issues affecting these young people. Thus as a result of addressing the immediate needs of young people both cities and particularly Glasgow have experienced a dramatic decrease in the youth crime rate.

The city of London in the face of increasing knife crime has showcased small steps in starting to implement a public health approach to knife crime. For example the Charity Redthread has deployed a unit of youth workers at Kings College hospital in south London dedicated to working with young victims of knife crime admitted to the hospital for treatment. The youth workers work with young people in the aftermath of a violent attack to ensure their needs are meant and offer long term support with housing, employment and making sure the victims do not seek revenge. The work of Redthread showcases a public health approach to knife crime can be implemented within the city of London and also possibly succeed. Despite this the city of London still has work to do in adopting this intervention model in all 32 boroughs and ensuring funding streams are available to organisations dedicated to tackling youth crime. Using stiffer sentences and being tough on crime in London had repeatedly failed in tackling youth crime or reducing the knife crime subsequently adopting a public health model to this issue provides a viable alternative which has successfully worked in other cities.

Internship Vacancy – Content Administrator Internet Journal of Restorative Justice

Our friends over at the Internet Journal of Restorative Justice have a new vacancy for a Content Adminstrator Internship. If you have an interest in this area of research and think you could be an asset to the journal have a look at the full vacancy details:

The opportunity

The Internet Journal of Restorative Justice is pleased to announce a vacancy for a part-time intern to act as the Secretariat’s Content Administrator. The successful applicant will work directly with the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Theo Gavrielides and the Content Editor, Ero Michael. The post is flexible as the work can be carried out remotely. However, London-based candidates are encouraged to apply as they can benefit from face-to-face supervisions and support offered at 14 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, London SE16 2XU, UK. Furthermore, the postholder will be offered a number of training opportunities as well as the chance to attend relevant conferences and strategic meetings in the UK and abroad. It is also expected that the post holder will have access to a number of funding opportunities and the development of their own research ideas and projects. The internship is for a minimum of 3 months starting as soon as possible. This is an unpaid post. The closing date is 2nd October 2017. Shortlisted applicants will be notified ASAP for an informal interview either via Skype, telephone or in person in London.

The Internet Journal of Restorative Justice

The Internet Journal of Restorative Justice (IJRJ) is a double-blind peer reviewed journal with a unique practical approach to researching and investigating restorative justice.

IJRJ’ primary aim is to publish scholarly and peer-reviewed articles of the highest standard from many areas of expertise including restorative practices in schools, neighbourhoods, organisations and businesses, family matters and (youth) care, restorative justice in the criminal and juvenile justice system, restorative justice in prison settings and restorative aftercare.

The Journal is published by RJ4All Publications, which is an independent, small publisher specialising in social sciences and the publication of cutting-edge research and policy on restorative justice, criminal justice, equality and human rights. RJ4All Publications and the Internet Journal of Restorative Justice are peer reviewed and guided by the independent Editorial Board and the International Advisory Board. Their membership includes some of the most prominent academics, researchers and practitioners in the area that we publish, such as restorative justice.

Apply via the online form on the vacancy page.

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YVJ News: Themed call for 2018

The peer reviewed Youth Voice Journal is pleased to announce a new structured format of themes across the 2018 calendar year dedicated to forwarding youth narratives on four key issues.

The YVJ is looking to publish papers on issues surrounding LGBT month issues (February), Mental Health Awareness week (May), Refugee Week (June) and Black History Month (October). IARS Publications recognise these issues as increasingly important to young people all over the world, carrying a significant impact on both their identities and lives.

In light of developing these new themes, the YVJ and IARS Publications will continue to adhere to its core principles of welcoming innovate research providing fresh perspectives – as always we encourage submission from young authors in particular!

Therefore we are looking for Guest Editors for these Special Issues who will work alongside the Editor, Professor Theo Gavrielides, to solicit and edit submissions. If you are interested in contributing or joining us as a guest editor please get in touch  – yvj@iars.org.uk

We look forward to keeping you updated with the latest developments of these themes and expect to publish of the first round of papers in February 2018 dedicated to exploring LGBT issues from a youth perspective.

In the meantime please have a look at past articles in the journal’s archives or through our webstore.

 

The Youth Voice Journal is published by IARS Publications, a small non profit publishing house specialising in social sciences and the publication of cutting edge research impacting on young people, human rights, restorative justice and crime.

YVJ COVER.jpgIARS Publications

 

99% Magazine: Youth-Led Media and the General Election

Social media today carries an ever growing influence in every aspect of our lives especially for younger generations. Therefore it was not surprising to the see the leading political parties in the build up to the general election use social media as a tool to connect with youth voters and increase voter registration figures. Indeed the term “digital election” strongly resonates with 2017 general election and the increased youth turnout of 68% in 2017 compared to 65% in 2015. The delusion and lack of interest in politics, which many long believed to be prominent amongst young people, appears to be gradually disappearing in the wake of political parties encompassing youth dominated social media platforms as key strategies in promoting manifestos. One prominent example of this in recent years has been the 99% Campaign. As a result of this, youth-led social media today not only offers us a glimpse into the lives of young people but also their political stances and desire to vote for which political party will undoubtedly affect their future.

IARS Publications is proud to facilitate the publication of the 99% Campaign’s, youth led magazines, of which there are currently 3 editions to date. These can be found online on the IARS bookstore. If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch!

Youth Voice Journal:New Content Alert

Tanja Dibou “Young Alawi in Syria: main values and identity”.  

In the latest Youth Voice Journal article author Tanja Dibou explores the subject of youth identity with the particular focus on the Alawite identity (religious minority group) of young people in Syria. The article provides commentary on the transitional period of adolescence and how identities, attitudes and core values are shaped and influenced among young people in this period. In line with this research from this article investigates the core values of young Alawites in Syria, the influence being Alawi carries on their identities and the meanings young people attribute to being Alawi.

Full article available here.