Immediate action is needed to make sure that those going through mental health challenges are not sent further down the rabbit hole by social media algorithms used by TikTok and Spotify among others, Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer said during meetings related to Mental Health Awareness Week.
Engerer is the co-chair of the European Parliament's Mental Health Europe Coalition and this week was involved in a number of events and discussions on the way forward.
He said that the way TikTok and Spotify algorithms work could lead those passing through difficult times and challenges to their mental health to enter vicious cycles because of the way artificial intelligence sets algorithms. Watching or listening to depressing and sad songs and videos leads the social media to give the user more depressing material.
"Artificial intelligence must be used to help people win over any mental health challenges rather than augmenting the issue", Engerer emphasised, while he explained that over the next months he will be working on a number of interinstitutional initiatives and actions to increase awareness and take concrete steps on this salient issue.
In a meeting with Milena Angelova, a Member of the European Economic and Social Committee and Secretary General of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association, new cooperation was launched between the two institutions, now that the EESC will be drafting its own report on Mental Health.
As co-chair of the Mental Health Europe Coalition Engerer emphasised on the need for the European Commission to come up with a European Mental Health Strategy and dedicate next year as the European Year for Mental Health.