SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Health Care and Rehabilitation Services, southeastern Vermont’s nonprofit community mental-health agency, announced that they will be hosting an online screening of the documentary, “LIKE,” regarding the impact of social media on children. The free showing of the 49-minute film will take place on Wednesday, April 6, at 12 p.m.
“LIKE” achieves the impossible: actually getting kids and teens to put down their phones for a few minutes. HCRS will hold a special screening of the documentary online to open up a dialogue between local families, community leaders, and providers. The event will feature a viewing of the film, followed by an informative online panel discussion, led by Jennifer Smith, HCRS’ Children, Youth, and Family Division Director, and Assistant Director, Heather Wilcoxon.
According to Smith, “As we all emerge from the cloud of Covid and re-enter the world of in-person connections, it behooves us to think about how we can support youth in engaging with others and with activities outside of the virtual world. For youth who are struggling with issues related to mental health, connection to the virtual world can alternately be a lifesaver and a source of great anxiety, a great hindrance to developing meaningful relationships and a positive sense of self. How we help youth find some balance is critical.”
Before Covid, two billion smartphone owners were checking their phones, on average, 150 times a day, and the enforced isolation and mandated screen time of the past two years has only increased this figure. Research continues to confirm that having your head down, staring at the screen, and chasing “likes” and seeking “followers” is the perfect recipe for low self-esteem, isolation, and depression, as well as loss of focus and patience.
The filmmakers of “LIKE” use their proven “four E formula:” entertainment, empathy, enlightenment, and a heavy dose of empowerment, arming their audiences with easy-to-execute strategies to change their habits that very same day. Research and data is plentiful: happiness surges when we have digital balance, not overload; when we give ourselves time to look at actual trees, animals, and all things nature, as well as interact – however we can – with other humans.
To register for this free event, contact Mary at email@example.com or call 802-886-4567 ext. 2157.
This film is being sponsored by the Vermont Department of Mental Health under PIPBHC (CHILD) grant 5H79SM080234-04 from SAMHSA. To see a list of other dates and times that the film is being screened across Vermont on April 6 and 7, please visit: www.hcrs.org.