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TikTok’s mental health community where you get advice and help in 10/30 seconds covering most mental health issues. These are not mental health professionals or health care professionals but random and sometimes anonymous users. How much of the mental health information available on TikTok is accurate and useful? And what is our role as a profession in dealing with the impact of misinformation on young children? 

Mental health influencers that could potentially be doing more harm than good 

TikTok is full of mental health influencers that could potentially be doing more harm than good. The popular platform has a growing mental health community where anyone can create a video giving advice on issues such as ADHD, Anxiety, PTSD, and lots more. However, it has been shown that many of these accounts do not belong to mental health professionals and are unqualified to give mental health advice. 
What used to be an entertainment platform has quickly become a place where young people as young as 10yrs old (even though it’s a recommended age of 13yrs) go for information and advice about mental health, using the hashtags #mentalhealth #anxiety #adhd. But sadly, a lot of the content can be misleading and even potentially damaging. 

Taken from Therapy Today, Volume 34: 

A 2022 study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry analysing the top 100 most popular videos about ADHD on the platform found that 52% of them were classified as medically misleading, 27% were based entirely on personal experience, and only 21% were considered useful when compared against diagnostic criteria. Only 9% of those offering mental health advice on TikTok had a relevant qualification. 
More concerning is the trend of young people self-diagnosing themselves with a mental health condition such as ADHD, after seeing someone their own age posting about it on TikTok. The ADHD hashtag is one of TikTok’s most popular, with more than 14.5 billion views, but many of the posters have no professional qualifications, and are spreading a lot of misinformation. 
Watch out for the second of 3 Blogs on the age of TikTok… 
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