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WPSU's Mental Health Q&A: Is screen time for both work and play harming me?

FILE - Illustration of woman running from screen
Illustration of woman running from screen

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Young adulthood is a time when many mental health issues first surface, and college can be a stressful time. WPSU asked Penn State students their questions about mental health. Then we got experts to answer them for our Mental Health Q&A series this month.

Dr. Jessica Henry is an associate professor at Penn State. She’s also a licensed mental health counselor and certified rehab counselor. Luke Vargas shared this question for her right before he graduated from Penn State.

Luke Vargas: I work on my phone and my laptop – whether I'm in the office, I'm in the classroom or I'm at home in my room, I'm using these devices. Is it harmful for me to be interacting with all these facets of my life in all these different spaces. How is that affecting me and should I stop doing that or how should I stop doing that?

Dr. Jessica Henry: I am a counselor, and I don't tell people what they should do. I think we are becoming a more tech savvy social space, Do I think that is necessarily harmful? If the student feels that it's harmful for them. I can't say that that's the case for all students, because some people may see using, having their phone, for example, to use the Insight app to do meditations as helpful practice for them. So I think that the recommendation is just to set limits on what your device time looks like, and make it specific to work, play, social life, etc.

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Listen here to all of WPSU's Mental Health Q&As.