The Mental Health Crisis: Is the solution unplugging the virtual world?

The Mental Health Crisis: Is the solution unplugging the virtual world?
Photo via

Wendy Griffin has a radical prescription for solving the tsunami of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues overwhelming young people - unplug them from the digital world. The CEO of the fast-expanding Wellspring Charity based in North Somerset near Bristol explains to the Good News Post what she means…

“If I could wave a magic wand to tackle the alarming mental health crisis plaguing our youth, I would severely restrict access to social media, gaming, and the internet - allowing only essential uses for education and business. 

Is it time to get off screens? – Wendy Griffin argues yes (photos via

“This radical step, I believe, would compel young people to reconnect with the physical world around them - nature, their bodies, and face-to-face human interaction. 

“The omnipresence of digital media has unquestionably exposed children to inappropriate content and unhealthy pressures that can dangerously accelerate the end of childhood innocence. 

“Stepping away from this virtual realm could foster a renewed sense of community akin to the lockdowns - an opportunity to share real interests, move freely, and relearn how to care for and respect one another's differences.

Wendy Griffin

“Additionally, I propose providing free counselling services universally. With professional guidance, people could process complex emotions, gain self-awareness, and ultimately reimagine how to live more fulfilling lives in a world reclaimed from the internet's pervasive negative impacts. 

“Incredibly, I would even advocate training everyone in basic counselling skills as a core life tool.

“My stance is partly inspired by young adults from my 2018 Masters Degree dissertation research who had abandoned social media altogether. 

“Freed from the virtual world's grip, they reported markedly improved life quality and more profound connections with their real surroundings.

“Undoubtedly, such drastic measures face innumerable hurdles. Social media and digital technology are deeply entrenched in our modern lives, economies, and culture. 

“Outright bans could prove hugely disruptive. We must also consider freedom of expression and access to information.

“Perhaps a more nuanced approach would be to enhance education around healthy technology habits, increase oversight of online content, and provide more funding for youth mental health services and public awareness. 

“Personal responsibility is key - we cannot simply unplug from digital life, but must learn to harness it more positively.

“Nonetheless, the staggering rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide amongst young people demands urgent and even radical action. 

“It is time to critically examine our societal norms and attachments, to find that elusive balance between the virtual and real worlds. 

“Only then can we restore the hope, joy and human spark so desperately lacking in this crisis. 

“The cost of inaction is too high - our children's well-being must become the top priority.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“

*Wellspring was originally set up in 1994 by people who wanted to support those around who were struggling with life. However, demand has rocketed with record-breaking waiting lists to use their services.

The charity has set up a GoFundMe page here.

To contact them Email: or call 01275 810879.

Read more