Photography by Alissa Marie Ohashi

Real Girls F.A.R.T. x #OnOurSleeves

This month, I’ve been given the unique opportunity to partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital for their #OnOurSleeves campaign—an empowering movement for children’s mental health.

This effort emphasizes the need to end misconceptions about behavioral health, provides critical education and resources for children and families, and raises funds to advance research discoveries that will improve how we care for children with mental illness.

Want to hear a staggering statistic?

One in five children is living with a mental illness.

Because kids don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves, we don’t know what they might be going through. We need to be a voice for children’s mental health.

It’s time to have an important conversation about children’s mental health—an often overlooked and vastly underfunded component of pediatric health.

It’s time to raise our voices for this important cause.

Why Nationwide Children’s Hospital?

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report‘s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease.

Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities.

But my own personal connection to Nationwide surpasses any of these impressive statistics and accolades.

In March of 2018, my son was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome—a heart condition in which an extra electrical pathway in the heart causes a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and lightheadedness.

Nationwide Children’s cardiology department has been a blessing to our family—their continued support, treatment, and sensitivity has gone above and beyond our expectations. So the chance to collaborate with them on something so near and dear to my organization was a no-brainer.

Why #OnOurSleeves?

Sadly, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among youth aged 15 – 24. In 2016,
6,159 children and youth ages 10-24 died by suicide and the numbers continue to grow.

#OnOurSleeves is the start of something that can help this number decrease.

The hospital has committed to investing more than $120 million to advance behavioral health
care and research. Philanthropy is vital to advancing this work; which is vastly underfunded by
both insurance and government research funding.

“How Can I Help?”

If you’d like to help spread awareness for children’s mental health, share your favorite icon to show your support on social media.

Use the hashtag #OnOurSleeves and tag 3 (or more!) friends to challenge them to share their favorite icon!

If you’d like to help out another way, you can sign up to get more information and become a part of the movement by visiting Nationwide’s #OnOurSleeves website.

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Join us in starting this movement. Show children and families living with pediatric mental illness that we’re all in.

Achea Redd

Achea Redd

about the author

Achea Redd is a mental health advocate, author of “Be Free Be You” and founder of Real Girls F.A.R.T. — a space to empower and equip women with the necessary tools to use their voices and become their best, most authentic selves.

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