The Mental Health Ripple Effect Part I: The Academic 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 I: The Academic Impact 

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

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1-in-5 children ages 13-18 experience a mental health condition, however children as young as three can show signs of mental health problems.3 Many caregivers see children and adolescents develop unusual sleeping or eating patterns, show signs of worry, or other behaviors that can raise concerns at a young age.

Students experiencing mental health impacts often find themselves unable to attend school or participate in extracurricular activities. Chronic absenteeism leads to missed classroom hours, often lowering grades and affecting academic success.4

With approximately 17% of students at risk of missing 15 educational days in a school year, chronic absenteeism can have a domino effect that results in missed milestones and increased dropout rates with links to poor outcomes later in life.5

The social-emotional impacts of missing in-person opportunities for connection with peers and mentors outside the home are difficult to quantify and have repercussions beyond the school day. These feelings of isolation and a sense of disconnectedness are known contributors that further catalyze conditions such as anxiety and depression.

According to NAMI, students with a sense of connectedness to peers and adults in their communities experience a decrease in symptoms related to depression and anxiety while simultaneously increasing academic performance.6

In bringing much needed mental health (and physical health) services to campus, schools can play a pivotal role in helping students recover from the cascade of challenges and traumas that put their mental health and education at risk.

Learning is fostered in environments where students’ basic needs are met and where they feel safe, supported, challenged, and engaged.

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