Special Santa Barbara Screening of ‘The Son’ to Discuss Teen Suicide

Panel of Mental Health Experts Will Answer Questions About Teen Suicide and Self-Harm

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(Santa Barbara, Calif. – Feb. 20, 2023) On the heels of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, families are invited to watch one more movie. Fusion Academy Santa Barbara will host a private showing of “The Son” to be followed by a panel of area mental health professionals who will help facilitate an open conversation about teen suicide.

“We were moved by the film,” said Shayne Horan, Ed.D., Fusion Academy Santa Barbara Head of School. “I walked out of the theater with a sense of urgency. I called a colleague and said we needed to do something. Teen suicide is just too important to not talk about it.” 

Fusion invites parents to attend a free screening of “The Son” by Florian Zeller. Sony Pictures Classics released The Son last fall. Starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, Zen McGrath, and Anthony Hopkins the film follows a family as it faces life after divorce and remarriage and braces the mental health challenges and self-destructive behaviors of a teenage son. Following the movie, parents can ask questions about how to talk to their teens and better manage mental health challenges.

What: Special screening of the “The Son” followed by a community conversation

Where: Metropolitan Metro 4 Theatre, 618 State Street, Santa Barbara

When: March 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. PST

How to attend: Register in advance here to receive a ticket.

Cost: Complimentary

Note: This event is intended for Parents and guardians.

“Families are generally afraid to talk about what to do when confronted with their teen’s depression, anxiety or self-harming,” said Santa Barbara Psychologist Ron Brooks, Ph.D. “Conversely, professionals fear what happens when families don’t talk about it. The Son is a launchpad for us to start that conversation.”

Brooks, whose practice is focused on adolescents and young adults, together with Horan will participate in the discussion following the movie and will be joined by other area professionals, including:

  • Sam Althauser, D.O.
  • Christina Donaldson, Ph.D.
  • Melissa Flanigan, Psy.D.
  • Joann Ng, M.D.  

“We live in challenging times and regularly face with plenty of unhappy endings,” Horan said. “We are humbled by the willingness of our panel to support this effort and provide this gift to the community.”

Fusion Academy is a revolutionary, life-changing school providing a personalized education for middle and high schoolers. Fusion Academy opened at 510 State Street in late August and is the 31st California campus for the national education provider.

Fusion Academy’s approach to learning is grounded in its one-to-one model of one teacher to one student, with different teachers for different classes. Fusion’s model of tailoring students’ learning journeys according to their strengths and learning preferences ensures students master their subjects at their own pace. Fusion works with students in three key areas to help them develop the self-determination they need to be successful adults in society, these areas include self-confidence, self-advocacy, and goal setting.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) Help line at 1(800) 950-6294, text 62640, email helpline@nami.org or chat at nami.org/help.

Fusion Academy Santa Barbara is part of Fusion Education Group (FEG) a revolutionary innovator in personalized education. FEG provides accredited personalized education for more than 9,000 middle and high school students at Fusion Academy, at its 80 campuses that offer one-to-one instruction; Barnstable Academy, which offers traditional college prep in a small school setting in New Jersey; and Fusion Global Academy, which offers one-to-one personalized education through a completely virtual campus that serves students in all 50 states and 33 countries. Learn more about Fusion Academy Santa Barbara here.


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