The Mental Health Ripple Effect Part III: The Family 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 III: The Family Impact 

Part IV: The Community Impact (coming soon)

It is widely recognized that a child’s mental health affects the mental wellness of others, and specifically parents.3 A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association for (JAMA) Pediatrics found that parents caring for a child with mental health concerns are more likely to experience their own mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.

The additional need for care can lead to increased levels of stress, which can further contribute to mental health issues.4 These findings underscore the importance of programs that provide early intervention and treatment to children, to minimize the impact on families.

Parents caring for a child with mental health concerns often have less time for other children in the family. This may lead to feelings of jealousy and resentment from the other children, who can display attention seeking behaviors. Additionally, parents may have less time for their own relationships or social activities.

A family’s perception of mental health or the need for services can adversely affect a child or adolescent who needs help. Cultural and generational stigma held by parents can prevent children from receiving the care they need. A child in a family without access to care is more likely to suffer for longer periods of time before receiving help, or not receive it at all.

There is one thing that most families who have benefited from teletherapy services agree on. A study from 2021 found that parents and providers agree teletherapy was as effective as in-person therapy.5 Families, providers, and schools acknowledge that access to mental health supports has an enormously positive impact on students academic performance, social skills, and overall wellbeing.

Integrative school-based supports can ensure students have access to the services necessary to empower them to thrive. School is often the first place children’s social emotional needs are recognized outside the home. When schools are equipped with programs that support the holistic health needs of students, the positive impacts carry into their families, schools and communities.

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