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Santa Barbara, Ca, Oct. 11, 2022– On Sunday, November 6 @ 4:30 pm, the Mental Wellness Center (MWC) will present Project Reboot, a 3-week screen time program that begins with a keynote presentation by Project Reboot’s founder and director, Dino Ambrosi. The presentation will take place at Santa Barbara City College’s Garvin Theatre, and will introduce attendees to new knowledge, skills and habits aimed at reducing reliance on social media and tech screen time.
Origin of Project Reboot
The launch of Project Reboot is a direct result of Ambrosi’s own struggles with unhealthy screen time usage while he was a student at UC Berkeley. As an antidote to the mental anguish that arose during his study sessions, Dino found himself turning to his phone and social media. He developed a habit loop: uncomfortable emotions and the anxiety they caused triggered mindless scrolling and ate up countless hours of his free time.
“Thankfully, I had the opportunity to intern at a startup in New York where I observed a highly motivated group of my peers who had strong management skills and the ability to control their tech engagement,” says Ambrosi, “The result was obvious — they were much more productive and able to get their work done,” Ambrosi added. That summer gave him the impetus to reinvent himself by deleting his social media apps and focusing on healthy eating and exercise habits. He also poured what he learned into developing INFO 98, a college course now in its third semester at UC Berkeley, that teaches students how to control their tech engagement.
“On average, the students who participated in my course decreased their time spent on social media and entertainment by over three hours per day and reported significantly healthier relationships with their devices,” says Ambrosi.
New Program Presents Screen Time Class to the Public
Based on Ambrosi’s initial INFO 9 class, Mental Wellness Center is hosting Project Reboot’s Screen Time Initiative in Santa Barbara — the first time this important, potentially life-changing information is available to the public outside of a classroom.
“At Mental Wellness we are at the forefront of collaborating with other organizations in bringing content aimed at community residents who are looking for mental health and wellness education, support and programming,” says Annmarie Cameron, Mental Wellness Center’s CEO. “When Dino first introduced us to Project Reboot, I knew right away that this program was speaking to a critical issue and offering a viable solution to social media and tech (over)usage; I was determined to support Dino and share this content with our Santa Barbara community,” Cameron added.
With lead financial sponsorship by Mental Wellness Center and the generosity of community co-sponsors — Cottage Health, Deckers Brands, Montecito Bank & Trust, SBCC Foundation, and Village Properties — the initiative is offered free of charge to all high school students (who can receive community service hours if they choose) and a $20 (suggested) participation fee for adults.
Project Reboot Components
The presentation to be held on Nov. 6 will introduce participants to the concepts behind Project Reboot and help them learn techniques and set goals for reducing their social media consumption. They’ll also be invited to participate in a weekly screen time challenge for each of the next three weeks, learning how to submit a screen time report to the anonymous Project Reboot tracking system, and gaining useful information about family discussion prompts, accountability groups, and additional reading and listening resources.
As part of the three-week program there will be two additional live Zoom meetings and challenges. To encourage participation, the program includes a Screen Time Competition that incentivizes participants to reduce their screen time.
Raffle tickets will be awarded for attending the follow-up sessions and submitting all screen time reports. Raffle prizes, including a Kindle e-reader, a year-long Headspace subscription, a smart alarm clock and REI gift cards, will help participants achieve their screen time reduction goals.
Go to www.mentalwellnesscenter.org/project-reboot to enroll today. Early registration is recommended as seating is limited to the first 300.
About Mental Wellness Center
Now in its 75th year, Mental Wellness Center continues to fulfill its mission of advancing mental health and wellness in Santa Barbara County through the provision of three pillars of service to community residents of all ages experiencing and/or impacted by mental illness: 1) essential peer support and programming, 2) mental health education, and 3) safe, affordable housing.