Parents Quitting Jobs at Alarming Rate to Support Their Kids’ Behavioral Health

  • More Than One in Five Parents Have Voluntarily Left or Plan to Leave Their Jobs in the Coming Year to Support Their Kids’ Behavioral Health Needs

Brightline, the leader in virtual behavioral health care for children and families, announced the results of its 2021 Pediatric Behavioral Health Needs Survey, conducted on their behalf by The Harris Poll among more than 500 parents of children under 18. The first annual study paints an alarming picture of the state of pediatric behavioral health in the United States and highlights how these challenges can create ripple effects for both working families and employers.

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“Long wait lists, high out-of-pocket expenses, hard-to-navigate systems, lack of measurement-based care, and a pervasive social stigma have all conspired to block kids from receiving the care they need,” said Naomi Allen, co-founder and CEO of Brightline. “To address today’s children’s mental health crisis, we must provide solutions for families that address all of these barriers to care.”

Key findings from the study include:

  • Large numbers of children are in need of behavioral health care. More than two-thirds of parents and caregivers (69%) report their children suffered from a behavioral health challenge in the last five years.
  • Parents and caregivers are overwhelmed by their kids’ behavioral health concerns. Most parents and caregivers (59%) have experienced their own mental health challenges due to the stress of trying to manage their kids’ behavioral health needs.
  • Parents and caregivers aren’t getting the support they need for their kids and teens. Among parents and caregivers whose children experienced behavioral health challenges in the last five years, 92% sought support, but only 47% say they received all the help they needed. A worrying 12% did not receive any support at all despite seeking it.
  • Parents and caregivers are quitting their jobs due to their kids’ behavioral @health needs. More than one in five parents and caregivers (21%) have voluntarily quit their jobs in the past year or are planning to quit their jobs in the coming year to better care for their children’s behavioral health needs.

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These findings raise important questions about what employers and health plans are doing to support working parents and caregivers.

“Providing mental health support only to employees themselves doesn’t address the whole issue,” said Dr. David Grodberg, Brightline’s Chief Psychiatric Officer. “Parents and caregivers also need comprehensive behavioralhealth care for their children. Considering the changing work landscape and the growing crisis in children’s mental health, employers and health plans can no longer afford not to invest in pediatric mental health.”

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