The Mental Wellness Center (MWC) will present Project Reboot, a three-week screen-time program that opens with a talk by Project Reboot founder Dino Ambrosi, 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6 at Santa Barbara City College’s Garvin Theatre.

The kick-off will offer new skills and habit aimed at countering the need for social media and technology to fill up people’s free time and ease pervasive anxiety and depression felt by so many.

Project Reboot is a direct result of Ambrosi’s own struggles with unhealthy screen-time usage when he was a student at UC Berkeley. While there, Ambrosi found himself turning to his phone and social media as an antidote to his mental anguish.

The uncomfortable emotions and anxiety he felt triggered mindless scrolling and ate up countless hours of his free time.

A summer internship at a NYC start-up exposed him to a more productive way to manage his emotions and free time, and gave him the impetus to reinvent himself by deleting his social media apps and focusing on healthy lifestyle habits.

Ambrosi poured what he learned into developing the precursor to the Project Reboot course he introduced at UC Berkeley called INFO 98, which is still being taught today.

Based on Ambrosi’s success with INFO 98, MWC is hosting Project Reboot’s Screen Time Initiative in Santa Barbara, the first time the potentially life-changing information is available to the general 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 looking for mental health and wellness education, support and programming,” said Annmarie Cameron, CEO of MWC.

“When Dino first introduced us to Project Reboot, I knew right away that this program is 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 said.

With lead financial sponsorship by MWC and community co-sponsors — Cottage Health, Deckers Brands, Montecito Bank & Trust, SBCC Foundation, and Village Properties — the initiative is offered free to all high school and college students (who can receive community service hours if they choose) and a suggested $20 participation fee for adults.

The Nov. 6 program will introduce participants to the concepts behind Project Reboot and teach them skills to reduce social media consumption. Participants invited to a weekly screen time challenge for each of the next three weeks, submitting a screen time report to an anonymous tracking system.

Two additional live Zoom meetings and challenges are also part of the program. A Screen Time Competition is aimed at incentivizing participants to reduce their screen time.

To enroll, visit Seating is limited to the first 350.