National Voice of Young Carers seeks support from health and social care professionals
Do you work in health and social care services? If yes, we need your help!
Young Carers Action Day is an annual event to raise awareness of young carers and the contribution thet make by caring for family members and friends. It’s also a day to call for more action to support young carers and young adult carers and give the extra bit of help they need to live full and healthy lives.
Young carers aged 11-19, from across England, including some of ours from Surrey, are part of the Young Carers National Voice. This group works together to promote young carers and campaign for change.
This is what they say:
“We’re all young carers and lots of us care for parents or siblings with mental illnesses. It can be really challenging but not enough attention is paid to us, even though we’re the people who take care of them at home. Their health and social care services rarely ask us what support we might need as young carers. This means we can be caring alone and without support.
“Often our families get discharged without a clear plan or one that we don’t get told about, and adult services don’t usually come to meetings about us either. This means that they don’t know about us, and we don’t know about the support they’re giving to our families. Not having the right information makes being a carer even more stressful!
“Without the right support, this can have a direct impact on our mental health too. 1 in 3 young carers have a mental health problem but young people’s mental health and wellbeing services rarely ask us about being young carers either. This means our caring often gets missed or ignored if we have therapy, even though it’s a massive part of our life.
“That’s why this Young Carers Action Day we’re asking you to take one small action to help more young carers get identified and get the support we really need.
“So, this Young Carers Action Day, could you:
- Play our poem to your team?
- Discuss our Top tips for health professionals in a staff meeting?
- Add a question about young carers to your referral forms?
Just asking can make all the difference!
Why is this so important?
“Young carers like us provide care for people in our families who have long term physical or mental illnesses, disabilities, or drug/alcohol issues. At least 1 in 12 children and young people are young carers – that’s 800,000 across the UK – but many of us go unnoticed until a crisis hits.
“We help our families in many ways, from shopping, cooking and managing bills, to providing personal care and emotional support. We often have to deal with emergencies too, when the people we love have seizures, falls, or crises from mental illness, alcohol or drugs. We’re children but with the responsibilities and pressures of adults – we fill the gaps that services can’t meet.
“We really need support around our caring when we’re young. Without this, we can end up needing adult mental health services in the future. That’s why we need you to help identify that we’re carers earlier, so that we can stay well and have the futures we want and deserve.
“Please share our campaign on social media too, and tell us what you’ve done to help here so that we can celebrate the brilliant difference you’ve made!”