WATERTOWN — The Youth Alliance of Jefferson County, in collaboration with a local internet and mental health safety task force, has created a survey to measure perception of safety and danger online. The survey will be used to identify need and create community resources for parents, schools, community agencies and youth.
Members of the task force include the Jefferson County Youth Bureau, the Children’s Home of Jefferson County, Arc, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services, local law enforcement, Department of Social Services, Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, Jefferson County Community Services, Cornell University, Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, ACR Health, Victims Assistance Center, North Country Planned Parenthood, the YMCA and the Youth Alliance of Jefferson County/Alliance for Better Communities.
There are two surveys being circulated by different organizations and social media platforms: one for parents and one for youth ages 13 to 18.
“Anybody who’s working with youth really began to see the issues last summer that were rising at a much higher pace from social media, and then what went hand in hand with that was mental health issues,” said Tammie J. Nabywaniec, task force chair and project director at the Youth Alliance of Jefferson County. “We’re serving the community, trying to get a feeling for where parents are at, and then also to get an idea where our youth are at. What are they using for apps? How much time are they spending? What risk do they perceive? Have they been bullied? Do they know somebody who has? What has been sent to them? And overall does social media, or being online, make them feel better about themselves or make them feel worse about themselves? And so we really could use some support in getting people to complete the surveys and get it back to us.”