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How to talk to your child about the dangers of sexting

sexting image

What is sexting?

Sexting is when someone sends a sexually explicit photograph or video of themselves via their mobile phone or online. It can also refer to written messages. It has become common in recent years due to easy access to smartphones and camera phones with internet access. Adolescents are texting messages of a sexual nature taken in the privacy of their own homes and there is significant concern regarding the negative effects of this on their mental state.

“There is a risk their image will be made available to others. This leads to a high level of distress for a young person, and it can lead to them resorting to ‘coping’ in unhealthy ways such as self-harming, isolating themselves and restricting their dietary intake. It can also lead to high levels of anxiety and the development, or exacerbation of, depressive symptoms.”

Dr Hayley Van Zwanenberg, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist from Woodbourne Priory Hospital (—birmingham), provides advice for parents who may be concerned their child is affected by sexting…


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2 Responses so far.

  1. Sarah B says:

    This is an excellent article by Dr VZ. It explains sexting well and is helpful. Does she run training on how to help teenagers with stress of being a teenager?

    • Debbie Humberstone says:

      Hello Sarah, I don’t know if she runs training herself, but I’m sure you could find out how to contact her through the link provided in the article. At the Project, we do run mental health awareness workshops for young people around how they can look after and support their mental wellbeing, so if you would like any further information about this, I’d be more than happy to have a chat sometime about what we can provide. Please either email me on or give me a call on 07970 167341. Best wishes, Debbie.

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