National survey shows how teens and young adults gather and share information about health and well-being using online tools

Key findings based on the full sample of 14- to 22-year-olds:

87% of all teens and young adults say they have gone online for health information. The top five topics searched are fitness (63%), nutrition (52%), stress (44%), anxiety (42%), and depression (39%).
64% say they have used mobile apps related to health, including for fitness, sleep, meditation, and medication reminders.
The majority of teens and young adults say they have read, listened to, or watched other people share about their health experiences online, whether in podcasts, TED talks, or YouTube videos.
One third have successfully connected with health peers online, and 91% of them say the experience was helpful.
One in five report having connected with health providers online, through tools like online messaging, apps, texting, and video chat.

The survey also sheds new light on efforts to address the growing crisis in mental health for young people.

Large numbers of teens and young adults experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of depression are turning to the internet for help, including researching mental health issues online (90%), accessing other people’s health stories through blogs, podcasts, and videos (75%), using mobile apps related to mental well-being, such as meditation and stress reduction (38%), and connecting with health providers through digital tools such as texting and video chat (32%).

The survey includes additional detailed findings and answers key questions:

· Is there a correlation between frequency of social media use and depression among teens and young adults?

· Do teens and young adults with and without depression use social media in different ways?

· Does using social media make teens and young adults with depression feel better, or worse – more connected or more alone?

· How many teens and young adults have gone online to look for health information, and on what topics? How useful is the information they find?

· How many have used online tools to connect with “health peers” - people sharing health conditions similar to their own? How useful were those connections?

· How does use of digital health tools vary among young people, such as by age, gender, race/ethnicity, or sexual orientation?