WEBINAR: Listening to Young Parents: The Multigenerational Making of Mental Health


On May 20, CLASP hosted a webinar on parental mental health, focusing on young parents. The impact of parental mental health on children’s development and outcomes is well-documented, but these impacts are rarely considered while centering young parents’ experiences.  We have also rarely considered the unique experiences of young parents of color, and the role of inter-generational trauma in shaping families’ relationship to mental health.  “Listening to Young Parents: The Multi-generational Making of Mental Health” brings together two presentations that draw on qualitative reports from young parents to offer practice, program, and policy solutions to addressing their mental health needs. This webinar will focus on listening to and learning from the lived experience of young parents. 

The webinar drew from CLASP’s publication “Looking at Life Different: Equitable Mental Health Support for Young Adult Parents.” This report explains how we can best help young parents by recognizing parenthood as a valued, central identity that can spur growth and development in other key areas. Our conversations with young adult parents of color surfaced two unique forms of trauma: infant mortality and amplified environmental stress in the context of raising children. We also surfaced two striking types of chronic stress: deferring dreams and goals in favor of meeting immediate needs and stress linked to policy and program barriers. Finally, young parents identified three particularly important sources of support: their child’s other parent, the broader community, and resources that help them meet basic needs. Our conversations with young parents suggested a substantial mismatch between their needs and available systems of support.

Presenters Include: 

  • Dr. Nia West-Bey: Nia West-Bey is a senior policy analyst with CLASP’s youth policy team. Her work is focused on youth and young adult mental health, strategies to support young, low-income parents of color as well as girls and young women of color. Dr. West-Bey earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in community psychology from New York University and completed her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College. 
  • Clelie Choute is a Detroit native, graduated from the University of Michigan. After her lived experience with postpartum depression she founded an advocacy organization called “Raw Uncut Woman” that has built wavelengths in social media for young women, inspiring them with average everyday mothers/wives/women.

Webinar slides can be found here 

References can be found here