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Income & Housing Policies to Support Children’s Mental Health & Well-Being

Child Care & Schools
Health Care
Good Governance
Children's Mental Health

How is economic security connected to children’s mental health?

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report that “on average, a child growing up in a family whose income is below the poverty line experiences worse outcomes than a child from a wealthier family in virtually every dimension, from physical and mental health, to educational attainment and labor market success.” This webinar will highlight income security and housing policies that can help lower poverty rates and strengthen families’ economic stability. Panelists will share strategies to strengthen the implementation of policies that support families and the connection of these policies to children’s mental health.

Watch our webinar recording for a discussion that examines the following questions:

  • What do the data tell us about children’s mental health needs?
  • Why are policies that strengthen families’ economic security important in equitably supporting children’s mental health?
  • What evidence-based policies can support families’ income security?
  • How is housing connected to income security and children’s mental health?

This webinar is the first episode in our series Meeting the Challenge: Evidence-Based Policies to Support Children’s Mental Health & Well-Being,​ which explores equitable policy options to promote children’s mental health.


  • Lara Robinson, behavioral scientist, Applied Research and Evaluation Team, Division of Human Development and Disability, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Leah Lozier, social science analyst, Program Evaluation Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, US Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Jessica Breslin, senior attorney, ChangeLab Solutions
  • Melissa Marichal Zayas, attorney, ChangeLab Solutions
  • Maya Hazarika Watts, managing director, ChangeLab Solutions (presenter & moderator)


“Significant research shows connections between poverty and children’s mental health. Studies on SSI ― a cash benefit program for children or adults experiencing disability that significantly impacts their functioning levels ― have shown that it can lift nearly half of participants out of poverty.” ―Jessica Breslin

“One thing to consider is housing code enforcement. We have aging housing stock with a lot of lead hazards, and we need to be improving housing standards at state and local levels while creating equitable practices for inspecting housing and enforcing housing codes.” ―Melissa Marichal Zayas