The Surprising Impact of Child Mental Health on the Workforce

Elementary age boy with hands resting behind his head.

By Marti Bledsoe Post, Executive Director, On Our Sleeves®
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Even before COVID-19, children were facing a mental health crisis. The pandemic has only made this existing crisis worse – and brought increased attention to its impact across the United States.

Children’s mental health concerns don’t exist in a vacuum. They have a profound effect on families, parents and caregivers. And as new research from On Our Sleeves movement from Nationwide Children’s Hospital reveals, children’s mental health is also affecting the workforce and workplace.

Our report, called “The Great Collide,” was made possible with the generous support of the Nationwide Foundation and is the product of a survey of more than 5,000 working parents. It shows:

53% of parents missed work at least once per month because of concerns for their child's mental health

30-50% of parents' thoughts are on their child's mental health and well being even while they are at work

53% of working parents and caregivers said their work is affected by their children's mental health and behavior

Crucially, The Great Collide also suggests ways that employers can help – how supported children enable successful companies.