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Dr. Delaney Ruston      

Physician, Author, Documentary Filmmaker Known for "Screenagers" & "Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia"

Delaney Ruston chose her two career paths of primary care physician and documentary filmmaker for one reason: to help create positive change in people’s lives. Growing up in Berkeley with a single mom and a father with schizophrenia, she experienced adversity firsthand. Her family experiences, along with her experiences receiving medical care in free clinics, inspired her to pursue medicine.

Intrigued by personal documentaries from a young age, Delaney began studying filmmaking and made her first short film during her internal medicine residency at UC San Francisco. She went on to found MyDoc Productions and has made several award-winning short and feature-length documentaries. Her films focus on solutions to often-ignored health issues, particularly mental health.

Dr. Ruston is a filmmaker, Stanford-trained physician, and international speaker who makes documentaries to foster social change. She is the creator of the award-winning films, Screenagers, about solutions for healthy screen time, Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER, about improving the emotional well-being of today’s youth, and her newest film, Screenagers Under the Influence, which addresses vaping, drugs, and alcohol in the digital age. To date, over 14 million youth and adults have gathered for community screenings of these films in 104 countries. Dr. Ruston is a known expert on the topic of screen time and young people and is frequently in the press, such as Good Morning America, NPR, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many others.

Dr. Ruston is an internationally recognized speaker on the effect of screen time on youth development and health issues. She has been invited to speak at The World Health Organization, Harvard, Google, TEDx, Facebook, The Aspen Institute, The United Nations, and numerous other teaching institutions, businesses, and international organizations.

Examples of other award-winning documentaries include Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia about her father and Hidden Pictures about global mental health, both of which have been screened widely, aired on PBS, and were at the forefront of advocacy campaigns, including with the World Health Organization.

A nationally recognized mental health advocate, Dr. Ruston has received wide recognition from national mental health organizations, including Harvard’s McLean National Council. She has also been awarded the Fountain House Associates Advocacy Award and Navos Expanding Horizon's Award.

Dr. Ruston trained at Stanford Medical School, followed by an internal medicine residency at UC San Francisco and a fellowship in Bioethics and Communication. For over twenty years, she has practiced medicine along with teaching medical students. She has been on the faculty of The University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and Stony Brook Medicine in New York State.

Dr. Ruston is a Fulbright Scholar and has conducted health-related research for many years. Her research has been published in leading scientific journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Dr. Ruston currently lives with her family in Seattle, Washington, where she continues to create films and social movements, as well as provide primary care to the underserved and homeless – which has been the focus of her medical work for many years.

Speech Topics

Why Sharing Our Stories Stops Toxic Shame

Why Mental Illness Doesn’t Tear Families Apart, Lack of Care Does

Where Mental Health Care Stands Today—insights from a daughter, doctor, and advocate

Global Mental Health - Lessons that Cross All Borders

Workshops for Youth and Teens -- Harnessing Their Solutions For Finding Balance in a Tech Revolution

How Schools and Businesses can Promote Tech Balance

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Enhancing the Mental Health of Digital Natives

The Surprising Science of Screen Time and Children’s Development

The Secrets of Parenting Successful Screenagers

Parenting Around Screen Time After A Year of Isolation and Screen Time Over-Saturation

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Creating "Screen Time" Consequences, Hard but Necessary?
I recently worked with my teen daughter to set up a fair consequence around one of her screen time rules. I've also include several examples of consequences from other parents.
Filmmaker asks how adults can help digitally obsessed teens tackle mental health challenges
Teens are more connected than ever. So why are they so depressed, anxious and stressed?
In ‘Screenagers,’ What to Do About Too Much Screen Time
In the new documentary “Screenagers,” children can’t resist the pull of electronic devices, and parents don’t know what to do about it.
5 smart ways to digitally detox - TODAY.com
“I am really an advocate for a mini-digital detox,” said Dr. Delaney Ruston, a physician and filmmaker who made the documentary Screenagers, which looks at ...
How to help keep teens off their smartphones
The movie begins with a question by the director and narrator, Dr. Delaney Ruston, wondering when is the “right time” to buy her then 12-year old daughter a  ...
Are your teens strung out on tech? - CNET
In it, filmmaker Dr. Delaney Ruston takes a look at her own family's battles over teen tech addiction, explores how it affects adolescent brains -- and suggests ...

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