Young Carers Awareness Day 2019

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees has shown his support for Young Carers.

Being a young carer is a risk factor for the mental health of children and young people. That’s why Young Carers Awareness Day (31 January 2019) focuses on mental health.

We have been working with local young carers to make vlogs giving their own top tips to other young carers on how to stay in good mental health.

See the vlogs here

Hannah is 15 and she cares for her sister. Her top tip is:
Have a safe thing you can go to when you are feeling really anxious, stressed and overwhelmed. Mine is Harry Potter and Marvel. What you can do is completely absorb yourself into a whole new world which makes you so much more happy. No matter how big or small this thing is it’s going to help you a lot.

Kai is 18 and need cares for his mum:
My tip is music. It can help even if you don’t realise it. If you’re not into music then you can socialise – I socialise either with other young carers or I do climbing, and have a laugh. Find something you enjoy and keep at it. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing it even if it’s silly. It may help you even without you realising it.

Nicol is 17 and cares for her dad:
My tip for other young carers is to do art. Maybe something like drawing, painting or
or some type of drama or performance art… Because it helps you calm down and focus on something else other than caring and lets you take a break for a moment.

Kama McKenzie is the Young Carers Service Manager at Carers Support Centre Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Her tip for young carers is:
If you are struggling with your own mental health and you haven’t already done so, one of the most important things to do is to talk to somebody. This could be a keyworker at the Young Carers Service, it could be talking to your GP or your parent, or a health professional or a youth worker. But it’s really important that you do talk – even if you just want to talk to a friend.

New research (source: Carers Trust) shows:
• as many as 1 in 5 children in every secondary school classroom in England is a young carer.
• being a young carer is a risk factor for their mental health – nearly 50% of young adult carers report experience of depression and anxiety, compared to just over a third of young people without a caring role
• young carers can find it hard to get the support they need for their mental health – around a quarter of young carers asked said they wouldn’t know where they could talk to someone if their caring role had made them feel down, stressed or worried.

Young carers need support for their own health. Too often, they put their own health  needs second to provide care, but now they say #CareForMeToo.

Show you #CareForMeToo this Young Carers Awareness Day (31 January 2019).