If you are a young carer and you are struggling to cope — you need to talk to someone about it.
Is there someone you know who you would feel okay talking to? Is there someone in your family who you could talk to you about things that worry you? Or is there a teacher or learning mentor at school you would feel comfortable talking to? Does your family already have contact with a social worker who you could talk to?
If you are finding it hard to find the right moment to bring something up with someone, try writing it in a diary, a poem, or a letter first (you don’t have to actually give them the letter if you don’t want to!) You could practise what you want to say with ChildLine who you can phone free from any landline: 0800 1111
If you can’t think of anyone you can talk to, please contact us.
We know that asking someone outside the family for help can be very difficult. We are an independent charity, and you can talk to us in confidence. We support children and young people aged 8 to 18 in Bristol and South Gloucestershire who provide substantial care for a family member who is ill, disabled or misusing substances.
Contacting us could be an important step for you and your family.
What to do in an emergency
The most important thing is to keep yourself safe – if you are not safe, you cannot help anyone else!
Next, if in doubt, call 999 for an ambulance, police or fire service. If you have a good reason for thinking that there is an emergency, it is okay to call 999, even if things turn out not to be as bad as you thought.
If there is an emergency that you think could happen to your family, maybe there is someone you can talk to about making a plan, just in case?
Talk to other young carers
Sometimes just talking to other young carers can be useful and a weight off your mind. You can go online at Youngcarers.net and use the message board or join in a chat session.
Youngcarers.net is run by a charity called Carers Trust, and our local charity is part of their network.
You can use the messageboard to talk to other young carers. You can also get confidential help and advice from online youth workers, who run chat sessions four times a week which are fun, supportive and popular. If you have any other questions you can post them on the agony aunts’ page.