by Sarah Nichole Koehler and Bobbie Rose Parrell (csusb.edu)
The relationship between heavy use of social media and an increase in mental health disorders has long been established. However, there is a gap in the literature regarding mental health practitioners/providers’ responses to this issue. This mixed-methods research embraced two theoretical perspectives—Ecological Model and Generalist Intervention Model—toward determining the extent to which mental health practitioners/providers assess for the impact of heightened use of social media on mental health. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 95 mental health practitioners (N = 95) via Qualtrics.
Non-parametric tests and descriptive statistics showed that prior training, agency’s values, and credentials impact mental health practitioners’ responses to social media use and its impact on mental health. Meanwhile, qualitative findings pinpointed low self-esteem, increased depression, and increased anxiety as three psychiatric conditions associated with uncontrolled use of social media. Implications of these findings for theory, research, social work practice, and social work education were discussed.