Responding to a Behavioral Health Crisis: Join the Movement

October 10, 2018
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To borrow a phrase from popular culture – the kids are not alright.

Mental health disorders are the leading cause of disability in adolescents. More than one in five teens in the United States have a mental health disorder that impairs their ability to function. Addiction, suicide, self-harm, mental illnesses and other behavioral problems are part of everyday life for too many families.

Sadly, behavioral health – the study and treatment of mental illnesses, disorders of brain development and behaviors that affect emotional, psychological and physical wellness – is one of the most underfunded and understudied areas of science today.

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we aim to change that. Not just for the children who visit our experts, not just for the children in our community, but for kids everywhere. Today, on World Mental Health Day, Nationwide Children’s is launching On Our Sleeves, an empowering movement for children’s mental health. This effort emphasizes the need to end misconceptions about behavioral health, provides critical education and resources for children and families, and raises funds to advance research discoveries that will improve how we care for children with mental illness.

Now, more than ever, we need to think about pediatric health holistically. Addressing a child’s overall health and well-being requires that we attend to both mental and physical health conditions equally and appreciate the connections between the two. And because kids don’t always wear their thoughts on their sleeves, the first step to better health is a conversation.

As pediatric health care providers, you are one of the most important pieces of the behavioral health equation. Participating in screening, building relationships with patients and families, and offering referrals and support are part of what you do already. Through expanded services and community education and partnerships, the experts at Nationwide Children’s are here to support you.

Join us in this movement. Download resources for your practice and sample social media messages at OnOurSleeves.com.