Mental Health from a Youth Perspective: New Report Provides Insight From Youth in Poverty Facing Mental Health Challenges

Recently released by The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP),  “Everybody Got Their Go Throughs”: Young Adults on the Frontlines of Mental Health summarizes findings from focus groups and analysis of data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The report’s major findings are a call to action, underlining the importance of an assets-based approach to mental health supports for youth and young adults. Such an approach recognizes and validates strengths, resilience, and young adults’ drive to fully achieve their education, employment, and life goals.

Young adults living in poverty face high exposure to “go throughs”: lived experiences of structural disadvantage and trauma with lasting implications for educational, economic, and other life outcomes. They frequently “get through” these challenges without formal mental health supports, relying on community-based programs and peer networks to cope with their experiences.

In the context of the current federal health care fight, “Everybody Got Their Go Throughs” highlights the racial and economic justice implications of the Medicaid expansion and full implementation of the mental health parity and prevention provisions of the Affordable Care Act for low-income young adults. Beyond the current political moment, the report also outlines a set of principles for framing mental health policy and practice.

Check out the report and some interesting info graphics from the research including how youth interviewed define mental health and statistics about youth and mental health in our nation today.

Want to know more about ACS work with youth? Check out the case study regarding The City of Little Rock’s Master Plan for Children, Youth, and Family, which ACS led and developed along with community partners or the media coverage (News 5 Cleveland, Cleveland Magazine, ideastream, and ACS secured for A Place 4 Me (AP4M) 100-Day Challenge which focused on securing housing for 103 homeless youth ages 15-24 in Cleveland/Cuyahoga County in the fall of 2016.

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