Empowering children and young people to use the internet in a mentally healthy way

The internet can be a space for learning and connection

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking the internet is all bad or dangerous. But we know there are many benefits of children and young people going online and that the internet offers a wealth of opportunities for education and enrichment.

These include everything from connecting with their friends and family via social media through to following online piano lessons and doing research for their homework.

At the Mental Health Foundation, we believe that empowering children and young people to make healthy choices is more effective than telling them what to do. ‘Own It’ helps them notice what they’re doing and how they’re feeling – and then make decisions themselves. It’s a bit like a friendly adviser in their phone.

The app also encourages children to be more aware of how they’re feeling as they use the internet, including social media. It supports this self-awareness by inviting them to keep a record of their emotions over time. They select the emoticon that best reflects how they are at that moment. They can also use words, if they want to.