Nationwide Children’s Hospital Expands 'On Our Sleeves' Initiative for Mental Health

A new alliance that ties together business, education, youth groups and health care aims to provide resources to 1 million classrooms by October.

Dana Randall
Nationwide Children’s Hospital opened the new Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion in March 2020 to focus on the growing need for pediatric mental health services.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital has launched a new chapter in its campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues by forging a new On Our Sleeves Alliance uniting national corporations and organizations that work with youth, health care and education. Its first goal: providing free educational resources to 1 million classrooms by World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, according to an announcement from Nationwide Children’s.

“Many behavioral health experts agree that providing children with the skills to manage their mental and emotional health early on can have a positive impact on their mental wellness in the present, and also later in their teen, young adult and adult years,” says Dr. Parker Huston, clinical director of On Our Sleeves and a pediatric psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, via email.

With more than 50 percent of lifetime mental illnesses develop in children by age 14, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the On Our Sleeves aims to offer free evidence-based tools to help adults start the conversation about mental health with children. A collection of resources called “How to Support Kids in the Classroom” is available at onoursleeves.org.

Learn more about On Our Sleeves and what Nationwide Children’s Hospital is doing to combat mental illness in this Columbus Parent story.

A shorter version of this story appears in “Parent Pulse” in the Summer 2021 issue of Columbus Parent.