SYNOPSIS

Filmmaker and physician Dr. Delaney Ruston takes the conversation around screens and teens to the next level with Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience—a film that examines the science behind teen’s emotional challenges, the interplay of social media, and most importantly, what can be done in our schools and homes to help them build crucial skills to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression in our digital age.

SCREENAGERS: Growing up in the Digital Age—Delany Ruston’s award-winning 2016 film—was the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology on kids and offer parents and families proven solutions. Screened more than 8,000 times (and counting) to 4 million people in more than 70 countries, it has been featured on PBS NewsHour, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and more. What started as a personal story grew into a national movement, helping millions of youth and their families find their way in a world with instant access to screen time.

In Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER, we follow Delaney as she finds herself at a loss on how to help her own teens as they struggle with their emotional wellbeing. She sets out to understand these challenges in our current screen-filled society, and how we, as parents and educators, can empower teens to overcome mental health challenges and build emotional agility, communication savvy, and stress resilience. 

We witness Delaney as she finds her way from ineffective parenting to much-improved strategies. We follow other personal stories of families from an array of backgrounds with a spectrum of emotional challenges. We also observe approaches in schools that provide strategies relevant beyond the classroom setting. Interwoven into the stories are surprising insights from brain researchers, psychologists, and thought leaders that reveal evidence-based ways to support mental wellness among our youth. The impact of social media and other screen time is incorporated in all the topics raised in Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER, how it may be impacting our teens’ mental health, and what we can do to help foster youth in the face of struggles. 

Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER shows many ways parents, counselors, and educators can help teens build crucial skills for navigating stress, anxiety, and depression. Some of the featured experts in the film include: 

  • Daniel Pine, MD, Chief Psychiatrist, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

  • Dan Siegel, MD, Director, Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA

  • Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Founders, The Gottman Institute

  • Ronald E. Dahl, MD, Chief Science Officer, Center on the Developing Adolescent at UC Berkeley

  • Laura Kastner, Ph.D., Psychologist and author, Wise-Minded Parenting

  • Ned Johnson, Co-author of The Self-Driven Child

  • Adriana Galvan, Ph.D., Chair, Behavioral Neuroscience UCLA

  • Lynn Lyons, MSW, Author, Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents 

Recommended age: 6th grade and older