Amid rising rates of childhood mental health concerns, and against a backdrop of continued attrition, working parents need more support than ever. Cleo’s holistic care model not only enables parents to thrive but supports their children as well.
Growing data affirms what many parents already know—young people’s mental health is suffering. Several leading children’s health organizations recently declared a national state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health. And our own recent survey findings include a significant jump in working parents dealing with a pediatric mental health concern, increasing their risk of attrition.
Mental health is foundational to Cleo’s model of care. It’s deeply embedded within our holistic care model built on authentic relationships between members and their Guides. Cleo Guides are the eyes, ears, and heart of our care team, not only providing guidance and support but proactively assessing and prioritizing families’ mental health needs.
Anyone who’s been on an airplane knows that if oxygen masks are deployed, you’re to put your own mask on before helping others. It’s a commonly used metaphor because it so perfectly speaks to the notion that when we first take care of ourselves, only then can we effectively care for others.
Having kids naturally comes with stress, but the degree to which parenting can create unhealthy levels of stress depends on many factors. Notable among them are any pediatric health concerns—including mental health, neurodivergence, and behavioral problems—having a young child, and inadequate support.
In a meta-analysis conducted well before Covid, compared to the childless, parents reported lower levels of wellbeing in those countries where they receive fewer subsidies and lack family-friendly work policies. Parents in the United States fared the worst, followed by Ireland, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
As a growing body of science reveals the ways in which children’s mental wellbeing can be directly impacted by that of their parents, the need to overcome the dearth in critical support systems for parents is all the more urgent. It underpins our mission, and inspired and informed our model of care.
Built on the relationship between Guide and member—creating a very human point of connection with clinical specialists, evidence-based programs, and members’ other benefits—Cleo doesn’t simply address a parent’s one-off questions and concerns, we surround them with a network of support not found elsewhere. And in so doing, the entire family benefits.
Identifying and addressing mental health issues early can help prevent a variety of related problems from developing in time. Mental health closely correlates to suicidality and self-harm, substance use, academic setbacks, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Identifying and effectively treating mental illness plays an important role in reducing the risk for such further challenges.
In younger children especially, however, issues of mental health can often be difficult to discern from typical, albeit challenging, developmental behaviors. Cleo Guides are a valuable touchpoint for members deciphering one from the other. And wherever a member lands, their Guide can connect them with relevant help from one of our specialists—from providing tools and strategies to support a child exhibiting signs of anxiety or other issues to identifying next steps.
In the case extra support or mental health treatment is needed, Cleo Guides also help members utilize their other health or wellness benefits to ensure they and their child get the care required. Identifying providers and accessing available benefits—particularly in the space of mental health care and particularly for those balancing work and parenting—can often become a barrier in and of itself. Whether within Cleo’s care team or not, one of Guides’ foremost roles is to connect members with needed care and support.
In addition to one-on-one connections with mental health experts and relevant specialists, Cleo members have on-demand access to a wealth of clinically-backed information via their Cleo App. Featured articles from our clinical team and other experts cover everything from understanding why children act out to childhood depression and anxiety to self-esteem in the age of social media.
Members also have the option to join frequent webinars and live Q&A events, as well as to access past event recordings. Cleo’s mental health experts recently hosted an hour-long session on caring for one’s self and family, providing a trove of researched-backed tips and tools for assessing and managing mental wellness. And in honor of World Mental Health Day, their expertise and guidance were made available to all.
Request a demo to learn more about Cleo’s holistic support, and how it enables working parents—and their families—to thrive. Our human-centric model of care improves health outcomes, controls costs, and boosts employee engagement, and we look forward to showing you how.