The Mental Health Ripple Effect Part II: The Financial Impact

There has been a staggering increase in the rate of students that experience a mental health concern since Jan. 2020.1 The American Academy of Pediatrics2 in 2021 declared a ‘national emergency in children’s mental health’ as the need to support the social and emotional wellbeing of our campus communities remains paramount.

Mental health has far-reaching implications for students and schools, yet the demand for youth mental health supports continues to outpace the supply of available services. That need was the catalyst for SchoolMed: Mental Health, which uses a novel approach to bring timely screenings, teletherapy, and crisis supports as well as a pathway to extended care for students and their families. 

Anxiety, depression, grief, harmful thoughts, and life changes have impacts that reach far beyond those that experience them, creating a ripple effect that impacts the classroom, families, and our communities. In this Good News Series, we explore some of those impacts. 

The Mental Health Ripple Effect Part II: The Financial Impact 

Part III: The Family Impact (coming soon)
Part IV: The Community Impact (coming soon)

From accessing and paying for services to potentially missing work and supporting the needs of the entire family, more parents and guardians are experiencing the challenges and demands that come from having a school-aged child with a mental health concern or diagnosis.

An increased need for care, the cost of additional appointments, lost wages, and advocating for their students are just a few of those demands. Since the pandemic, more than half of parents’ jobs have been disrupted by their children’s mental health needs.3

Like families, schools, corporations, and workplaces of all types also feel the financial impacts. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and it is estimated that $300 billion is lost annually due to loss of productivity related to untreated mental illnesses.4

The impacts of mental illness in students affects families of all socioeconomic stations. Still, growing up in a household affected by poverty increases a child’s predisposition to experiencing a mental health concern.

And that doesn’t consider the difficulties in accessing and paying for services. While government-sponsored health plans in Medicaid and Medicare as well as commercial insurers are covering more mental health services than ever before, many available mental health service providers don’t always accept insurance as a method of payment.

Many families struggle to afford co-pays or are uninsured and feel helpless to provide their children mental health supports they need. And that’s not specific to parents, who can also experience anxiety and depression and may be a greater risk of one or both when they have a child with a mental health concern.5

Still, parents often prioritize the health of their children over their own. A recent survey from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) produced some staggering results:

  • 50% of parents are concerned about their child’s mental health

  • 87% would like to see mental health education provided in schools

  • 70% support implementing mental health days for students

  • 89% of parents feel that mental health is more important than academic success.6

Parents, community leaders, and educators agree: school-based solutions like SchoolMed: Mental Health are instrumental in enabling students to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially. And they’re needed today.

Do you have a topic around mental health and its impacts on children that you’d like to learn about?

Let us know by clicking here to send us a message with your topic and why it’s important to you, and bookmark the Good News page for more content throughout the 22/23 school year. 

About Goodside Health

Goodside Health is advancing the delivery of pediatric care by partnering with communities to provide access to telehealth, mental health, and well-care services at school, at home, and in the clinic. Relentless advocates for expanding access to care and promoting health equity, Goodside Health leverages a Whole-Child Approach to care and lives our mission of closing gaps in children’s healthcare through innovation and execution. To learn more about Goodside Health, please visit