Schools reckon with social stress: ‘I’m on my phone so much’

National

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Teachers say they’re seeing so much student anxiety that a national union newsletter labels it a “mental health tsunami.”

Many of those educators, along with doctors and researchers, say smartphones – especially the nonstop pull of social media – are at least partly to blame.

San Diego State University researcher Jean Twenge says it’s no coincidence that youth mental health issues have risen with the number of phones.

Schools are starting to react. Some are hiring outside companies to monitor students’ social media for signs of distress.

Others invite in yoga instructors and comfort dogs.

Screenings of documentaries such as “LIKE” and “Angst,” which explore social media, technology and anxiety, are drawing crowds and movements like Away for the Day and Wait Until 8th discourage cellphones in middle school.

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