Fake news and mental health

When you can’t tell the difference between a real headline and a false one, things can get a bit stressful.

More than that, living in a world of fake news can make us worried and anxious, as we try to find the facts about a scary story or rumour that’s going around school.

In the latest edition of For Fake's Sake, TikTok star Ehiz Ufuah speaks to clinical nurse consultant Emma Selby to find out about how fake news can affect our mental health.

Emma’s tips for looking after your mental health

1. Avoid echo chambers

Try to get away from environments where everyone has the same opinion. Often these can spiral out of control with worry, as people who share views and opinions can get stressed out or angry about similar things.

2. Confirm claims with a trusted news source

If you’re getting anxious about a story or claim, make sure to check it with a reliable source. Have a look at a news site that has a track record of reporting facts to see if it’s true – it wouldn’t be a good idea to worry over something that turns out to be made-up.

3. Take breaks

With the latest headlines always rolling in on social media feeds or news apps, it can get a bit overwhelming. Take a break and do something that helps you to relax - whether that's spending time off-screen or watching calming clips of animals or nature, which has been proven to reduce anxiety. On some phones you can even set timers for certain apps which can remind you to take a break.

Where next?

Filtered selfies and fake news
What are echo chambers?
What are reliable sources?
Fact or Fake?