2023 Best Health Initiative
Nationwide supports children’s mental health and has a passion for attracting other corporations to do the same. With the goal of providing resources for parents and caregivers while also supporting their associates and remaining competitive for top talent, the Nationwide Foundation funded the launch of Bloom with the help of On Our Sleeves, the national movement to break stigmas around children’s mental health. Bloom is a digital course library available for employers to offer to employees.
In 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory stating, “Supporting the mental health of children and youth will require a whole-of-society effort.” The goal of this partnership was to study how children’s mental health intersects in the workforce, identify ways an employer can positively impact children’s mental health, and develop a way for employers to proactively face the crisis by providing evidence-informed resources to support a caregiving culture.
After studying the topic of how children’s mental health impacts the workforce (and learning that a majority of parents say that their children’s mental health interrupts their workday at least once a month), the Nationwide Foundation funded and supported three studies on this topic. Subsequently, a top-valued employer solution in the form of online curriculum to help parents confidently support their kids’ mental health was developed.
Bloom: Growing Kids’ Mental Well-Being was released in the fall of 2022. It consists of short courses and resources to build mental wellness habits, start mental health conversations, and recognize when kids need help. Bloom is available for any business or nonprofit in the U.S. as On Our Sleeves continues to address the crisis at one of its most crucial intersections—the workplace.
Nationwide achieved all three of its goals: funding, participating and having a resource to share with employees. But beyond that, the launch of Bloom centered on breaking the stigma around children’s mental health in the workplace, educating corporate leaders about the connection between kids’ mental health and employee well-being and productivity, and creating a solution. Eighty-eight percent of nationwide employees said they would be interested in a work-offered course on child mental health. Once the program was launched, a pre/post survey showed that parents’ feelings of efficacy, self-sufficiency, personal agency and self-management all increased between 10 and 14 percent after taking the course.