Film: Screenagers: NEXT CHAPTER

From the director of SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age comes Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience and is about helping young people thrive in our screen and stress-filled world. The film shows many ways parents, counselors, and educators can help teens build crucial skills for navigating stress, anxiety, and depression.

Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER

About the Film

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.

Facts from Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER include:

  • Since 2011, there has been a 59% increase in teens reporting depressive symptoms
  • Scientific data shows that 2+ hours a day on social media correlates with a higher chance of having unhappy feelings
  • Teens say their main way of coping with stress is to turn to a screen—this is concerning for many reasons and we need to ensure they have other coping skills
  • Some schools are implementing innovative programs, such as wellness clubs, where teens teach their peers essential communication skills, like conflict resolution and relationship building
  • State of the art therapies, including mindfulness, exposure therapy, and behavior activation, are being used to successfully treat anxiety and depression and yet many teens and adults don’t know that these proven interventions exist
  • When teens suppress emotions, research shows it negatively impacts their school work and other cognitive tasks
  • Just like toddlers’ brains are primed to learn languages, teenage brains are primed for learning skills to navigate complicated emotions
  • A recent study shows that when parents jump in, their stress goes down but their kid’s stress goes up
  • Why it’s important to help teens get comfortable feeling uncomfortable
  • Forward-thinking, concrete solutions for parents, counselors, and educators
Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER shows many ways parents, counselors, and educators can help teens build crucial skills for navigating stress, anxiety, and depression.

About the Filmmaker

delaneyDelaney Ruston is a filmmaker, Stanford trained physician and mother of two. Through her company, MyDoc Productions, Delaney has made award-winning feature documentaries such as Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia, about her father, and Hidden Pictures, about global mental health, which was filmed in China, India, France, South Africa and the US. These films have screened in multiple film festivals, aired on PBS and have been the focus of national advocacy campaigns. For example, Unlisted screened in communities throughout the US in partnership with the two largest grassroots mental health organizations and Hidden Pictures screened on World Mental Health Day by 141 international organizations in 2014.
Delaney has been invited to speak and screen these and other films to hundreds of audiences in diverse settings around the world--such as at primary schools, conferences, medical centers, universities, the United Nations, the TEDx stage in Seattle and the World Health Organization. For her work in using film in launching advocacy movements Delaney has won several awards.
Throughout her education at Cornell University, Stanford Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) for residency, Delaney studied many aspects of filmmaking, with a particular focus on film as a vehicle for social change. She made her first award-winning short film while doing her medical residency at UCSF. She completed a Fellowship in Ethics and Communication at UCSF and then went on to become faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle. She then completed a National Endowment for The Arts funded filmmaking program and later was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to make films in India. Along with filmmaking, Ruston has spent over a decade providing primary care to the underserved. She is currently the Filmmaker-in-Residence at Alan Alda's Center For Communicating Science, Stony Brook Univ. NY.
Delaney decided to make Screenagers because she believes deeply in the importance of helping kids find balance in our tech filled world.  She is passionate about having the film be a vehicle to bring parents, educators and kids together for post screening discussions so change can happen not just in our homes but in our schools and communities. She loves engaging audiences in solution centered discussions and is excited that her daughter, Tessa, who is in the film, enjoys being a part of these discussions as well.




"My husband and I have just been very concerned about this issue for some time, and as I'm a geneticist at UCSF Children's Hospital Oakland, I'm very interested in the science behind it. The film is first rate- you've made a REMARKABLE piece: thoughtful, provocative and beautifully filmed and edited. "  

Beth T., Geneticist at UCSF Children’s Hospital

"Just wanted you to know that your movie has the attention of most of the important people in my community. You have conquered Marin! It's making a huge buzz...."
Michelle G., Educator,Parenting Coach & Mindfulness Educator

"Sit your kids down and watch this movie.  Sit on them if you have to.  It's a MUST SEE for anyone with kids in their lives!"
Martha Adams, Chief Creative Officer for Girls Rising

"I saw Screenagers two days ago at my son's school in NYC.  It was an incredible eye opener...the way it was presented got totally under my skin and pointed out exactly what we are dealing with in my family….this already has brought changes into our life."  
Kirsten R. C.  New York Parent

"My husband and I have just been very concerned about this issue for some time, and as I'm a geneticist at UCSF Children's Hospital Oakland, I'm very interested in the science behind it. The film is first rate- ….REMARKABLE piece: thoughtful, provocative and beautifully filmed and edited."  
Beth T., Geneticist at UCSF Children’s Hospital

"I had a chance to see Screenagers at my children’s high school and was inspired to spread the message to other parents. I work in the technology world at Lucasfilm and as the father of two teenagers, I appreciate the challenges in maintaining balance in the access and use of technology. The screening was easy to setup and we had more than 100 Lucasfilm families attend the screening and discussion. We held the screening after work hours and encouraged parents to bring their kids. After the screening we had a lively Q&A with the producers, which I moderated. Kids opened up about their challenges with screen time and parents shared their struggles in maintaining balance with their kid’s use of technology. I would highly recommend this film to any current or potential parents in dealing with screen time and the challenges we face in balancing the use of technology at home and at school."
Kevin Clark, Director of IT, Lucasfilm

“Two screenings we held both sold out immediately. Based on the audience feedback it is clear this film resonates with parents and teachers who seek to find a balance with digital use.” 
Bridget Clark, Coordinator Ross Valley Healthy Community Collaborative  

"I watched this movie twice, and was engaged and interested both times. It prompted a great discussion with my kids ... I also watched this movie with several colleagues and we had an excellent discussion around what we observe in our practice, what kind of guidance and advice we give, and what we do personally and with our families."  
Nelson Branco, Pediatrician

"I saw the movie tonight and think it's great. It's current and timely given so many of the issues we face with our kids today and at Drake HS, such as cell phone use in the classroom" 
Dina L. Parent Club Co-chair, Drake High School, San Anselmo

"I saw Screenagers with my family on Wednesday night. The movie is wonderful. It was so great to have the girls hear all of the concerns about too much screen time come from someone other than Greg and me!" 
Maureen S., Mom, San Geronimo, CA

"Just wanted you to know that your movie has the attention of most of the important people in my community. You have conquered Marin! It's making a huge buzz...." 
Michelle G., Educator, Parenting Coach & Mindfulness Educator

“I got my daughter's feedback on the movie and I want to thank you and your team! She learned a lot and has requested restrictions on her phone usage. I’m really happy for you and the success of this project and grateful for its impact!!"  
Amy S. School Administrator

"Screenagers is a very balanced, sympathetic and sane look at the way millions of teens are struggling with phones and games and technology in general. In part by letting the teens themselves speak about their own concerns and solutions, Screenagers is deeply affecting, too."  
Dave Eggers, Best-Selling Author, Publisher and Education Activist

"My 13 year old son and I watched the film Screenagers together. The impact of the film was so great, that all on his own, when the movie ended, my son announced that he would voluntarily be relinquishing his computer for a week.  In the end, he was off completely for 10 days, and when he did get back on he started setting a timer and sticking to his own self-imposed time limits. Thank you for sharing this valuable film with us."
Nancy B., PTA, Chair of Parent-Education MVMS PTSA

"I am so grateful I got to see this film in our own town theater full of local parents with their (mostly middle school-aged) tweens in tow. After recent screenings at multiple venues in our community, the buzz is audible everywhere that parents gather lately. The film accomplishes a worthy goal - provoking thoughtful self-examination and conversation within our family and outside it, among all kinds of parent "colleagues".  The film really meets parents and young people where they are today, and thankfully informs without alarming, in a voice that viewers can actually hear without feeling lectured to or blamed. I truly appreciate the reflection this film encourages, in addition to the breadth of research and everyday-life struggles it exposes that are immediately relevant and relatable." 
Katherine C, mom, San Anselmo, CA

"I loved the movie! It taught me and my sister so much. We had a great discussion about it at home too."  
Chloe B. 17-year-old

"Saw it last night & am thrilled to reference this film as a resource for families wrestling with this topic!  Thank You!"  
 Jen R. LMHC, Seattle WA

"Bringing my daughter to the movie has opened up a whole new level of dialogue between us, for which I sincerely thank you." 
Dilys Bart, MD, mom and physician from Mill Valley, CA

"I am a parent at IS276 and was at the screening. Great job in putting a film like this together. I also enjoyed having Simon there, I am familiar with his "Happiness" work and had the pleasure of seeing his Ted Talks about marketing from the inside out. I am a Rodan+Fields consultant and see his work often 🙂 Best of luck moving forward! I have an 8th grade daughter and 6th grade son, so I could relate to how easily they can get sucked into the screens...myself included as I work from home! We all are a little more aware after seeing your film."  
Tricia Demas-Anderson, New York

"I think this is the most important and rewarding film that has immediately useful and beneficial information for all of us...I would like to see this film shown in every school. Then let's have the discussion on how do we talk with one another and understand the world today."  
Kit Burns, Father, Tacoma WA