RethinkFirst, the leading software and solutions provider in behavioral health, today released a survey that offers parental insights into social, emotional and academic stressors impacting their children in grades K-12 during the 2022-2023 school year.
The survey – “Mental Health in the Classroom: The Impact on Kids, Teachers and Working Parents” – revealed that parents had to take a significant amount of time off work to support their students, which could have a long-term lasting effect on the economy. More than half of parents said they missed as many as four days of work during the school year to take their children to mental health-related appointments or stay home with them for related absences, or attend IEP or parent-teacher conferences. All totaled, RethinkFirst data scientists estimate that the time parents take off work to provide support to their students could cost the U.S. economy as much as $65 billion in lost productivity annually.
“Students continue to struggle with their mental health and are still catching up academically from pandemic-related disruptions, forcing parents to take time off to address the urgent needs of their children,” said Daniel Etra, CEO and co-founder of RethinkFirst. “Workplace absenteeism related to supporting children is a growing concern. As employers look for ways to support employees and their families, it will be increasingly important to offer mental and behavioral health benefits, including those for children with learning and developmental challenges.”
The national survey of more than 2,000 parents examined the observed range of emotions school-aged children experienced; if schools had resources and programs needed to support their child’s mental health; and how much time they took off work to support their child’s mental health or academic performance.