The original research by Mullen et al. in this issue is a welcome contribution to the increasingly important research area concerned with mental health and internet use. There is a persistent and growing tension between harmful online content and the potential to support vulnerable people online. Although current research has established both negative and positive influences of the internet on mental health, a policy framework to guide the development of online mental health resources is lacking. Based on 20 years of online service provision (in Australia originally and now in Ireland), ReachOut.com has gained important insights into young people’s online behaviour and help-seeking preferences. Given that young people have expressed concerns about the impact of the internet and social media on their mental health, yet they will go online for support, there is a clear need for leadership and the resourcing of quality assured, engaging online mental health supports. Such an approach will be the most effective way of mitigating the threat posed by harmful online content.
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