Report: Behind the Asterisk*

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The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is excited to release Behind the Asterisk*: Perspectives on Young Adult Mental Health from “Small and Hard-to-Reach” Communities. This report presents the lived experiences of marginalized youth and young adults living in poverty. Their voices serve as a first step to better meet their mental health needs.

Behind the Asterisk* describes findings from focus groups in “small and hard-to-reach” communities: white rural; Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI); and urban Native. It also includes a diverse group of young adults experiencing homelessness. These communities are often relegated to an “asterisk” in research and excluded from national policy discourse. Their numbers are too small to be reliable in national data or they are too hard to reach using typical research methods. The report centers the experiences of these often-overlooked young people.

The report includes five main sections: 

  1. Go throughs, too: Threats to mental health and perspectives on effective and ineffective supports that align with findings from our earlier work. 
  2. Unique perspectives: Additional threats to mental health and valued supports uniquely identified by small and hard-to-reach communities. 
  3. The role of health insurance: Young adults’ understanding of health insurance and its interaction with mental health care. 
  4. The meaning of mental health: Young people’s understanding of mental health and the implications of that meaning. 
  5. Policy implications and recommendations: Opportunities to achieve positive, inclusive, and equitable change.