Mental Health


Teens and Screens

Teens and Screens reports on the findings of an exploratory action-research program at EACH. Therapeutic workers at EACH identified an increasing frequency of clients concerned by problematic online behaviours. To meet this need, the health promotion team led the creation of a new evidence-based primary prevention and harm minimisation program.

Free community counselling and seminars provided an opportunity to bring parents and young people together to uncover the motivation for excessive use. This program provided an increased understanding as to why some young people might be using technology excessively and invited them into a conversation about the issue and the solution.

The evaluation of the program revealed that the impact of this program was governed by the degree to which the use was problematic. The key research finding was that excessive use is often triggered by complex family issues including poor relationships, long-term family illness, grief and/or mental health issues.

The recommendations for action centre on the importance of a strength-based approach to excessive use, to lean into it. Authentic interest from adults in what a young person is immersing in online, helps to strengthen personal connection and improve a parent-child relationship that has been distressed by excessive screen use.

Webpage: Teens and Screens