In some way, mental illness touches everyone. You may have a family member, friend or child who is living with a mental illness. For children, especially, the statistics are sobering.

One in five children is living with a mental illness, and 50 percent of all lifetime mental illnesses start by age 14.

We are in a national crisis.

We believe in caring for the whole child - that mental health is just as important as physical health. Yet across America, children's mental health is an often overlooked and vastly underfunded component of pediatric health. Further troubling, only one child psychiatrist is available for every 15,000 youths younger than 18. Lack of healthcare resources and funding only complicate and hinder efforts to make significant changes that impact our youth during these critically important formative years.

It's time to have a conversation about our children, to raise our voices for this important cause.

The On Our Sleeves movement, launched on World Mental Health Day 2018, is on a national mission to break the silence surrounding children's mental health. With free on-line content and resources, On Our Sleeves is offering hope to families navigating mental health issues in their own lives. There are also conversation starters and tips for friends, families and co-workers who want to support children living with mental illness.

All content and resources have been developed with the mental health experts at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Working with one of America's leading voices in pediatric mental health, we are determined to offer hope. On Our Sleeves has created a network of support around the millions of families around the country living with mental illness by addressing the stigma associated with this diagnosis and providing the tools necessary to improve behavioral health outcomes.

In addition to advocacy and education, On Our Sleeves aims to accelerate Behavioral Health research. This research begins at Nationwide Children's. In March 2020, the hospital opened its doors to the largest freestanding facility in the nation dedicated to child and adolescent behavioral health the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion. The goal of the Pavilion is to develop a national model for pediatric mental health care and research. It is home to the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research, where experts are working to better understand the causes and most effective treatment of behavioral health conditions, develop targeted prevention efforts and expand clinical access. Research findings will be freely shared to improve care for children everywhere. These discoveries will ultimately fulfill our mission and the promise of On Our Sleeves to improve outcomes for children living with mental illness.

Whether you’re hosting a golf outing, 5K, spaghetti dinner or silent auction, there are so many different ways you can join the movement to end stigmas and misconceptions about mental and behavioral health. Join us in this empowering movement for children's mental health by starting a fundraiser today.

To learn more about On Our Sleeves, please visit

If you or your child need immediate help due to having suicidal thoughts, go to your local emergency room immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.