Welcome to the Social Media and Youth Mental Health Q&A Portal! Here you can read our featured Q&A Portal questions, view available resources to help your students build healthier digital habits and browse our library of previously submitted questions and responses to learn more about other topics. 

Not finding what you're looking for? Feel free to submit your own question to our Center of Excellence team. Your question will receive an evidence-based response from our expert team and be added to our Q&A Portal library. 

Featured Questions

Read our featured Q&A Portal questions and responses

Strategies for Increasing Student Engagement

Question: How can we encourage students (particularly middle and high school) to be present during activities that may or may not be outside of the regular school day? Some examples I am thinking of include student engagement during class time, student participation in class activities like wellness circles or reading time? It is challenging to engage middle and high school students to participate and be invested in their own individual experiences instead of scrolling or refreshing social media platforms. 

Answer: We hear frequently that it can sometimes be challenging to get adolescents (and adults!) to “be present”. With this challenge, it might be helpful to consider why adolescents are drawn to social media. Read the rest of this answer here.

Social Media & Youth Mental Health Q&A Portal


February 22, 2024

Digital Media Interventions in Schools

Question: Do you know of any effective “diversion/intervention” type programming designed for kids who have struggled to maintain a healthy relationship with social media and with classmates on social media? I am looking for an educational resource designed for middle school students who have, unfortunately, used social media to be unkind, bully, promote false information, etc.

Answer: The good news is that anti-cyberbullying school-based intervention programs have been shown to significantly reduce cyberbullying. There is less evidence, however, that many of the new digital citizenship school-based programs that strive to teach students how to navigate digital technologies and their social ecosystems in healthy ways actually change students’ behaviors. Read the rest of this answer here.

Social Media & Youth Mental Health Q&A Portal


February 22, 2024

Screen Time & Sleep for Middle School Students

Question: I am looking for an evidence-based curriculum to teach in a middle school setting for screen time and sleep. I appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Answer: When teens struggle to find balance around digital media use, it can negatively impact their sleep. Adequate sleep is an important part of mental well-being and brain development for adolescents, so it is important to support adolescents in using digital media in ways that won’t negatively impact their sleep. Rest the rest of this answer here.

Social Media & Youth Mental Health Q&A Portal


February 22, 2024

Browse our Q&A Portal Library

Browse our library of all previously submitted questions here. Check back often as we add new questions regularly.

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Submit a New Question

Don't see what you are looking for? Submit your own question below. Your answer will then be added to the Q&A Portal library to help others with similar questions.

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Tools & Resources

Use these resources to help develop healthy digital habits

Printable Handout for Families: Building Healthy Digital Habits

Help your students build healthy digital habits with this handout that includes research-based tips that can make a big difference. Also available in Spanish.

AAP Family Media Plan

Media is everywhere and managing it all can be tough. Share the AAP Family Media Plan with your students to help them better understand the importance of setting media priorities and encourage them to share the tool with their parents.


Funding for the Center of Excellence was made possible by Grant No. SM087180 from SAMHSA of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the US Government.


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American Academy of Pediatrics