Today (31 January) is Young Carers Awareness Day, and a new survey has revealed that young carers are more likely to experience mental health problems than their peers without caring responsibilities.
The new research shows that over a third of young carers aged 11-18 are experiencing significant mental health problems.
Of those surveyed for the research:
- 37 per cent said they were stressed
- 32 per cent felt worried because of caring for someone
- 23 per cent felt their caring role had stopped them from making friendships
- More than half (56 per cent) felt they didn’t get enough help with their emotions and feelings
- Just six per cent said they would be willing to speak to a mental health professional about their feelings
WHAT IS A YOUNG CARER?
A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who cares for a family member or friend who has a disability, long-term illness or mental health problem.
On top of school and homework, young carers may have to help with housework, the family budget, administering medication, emotional support and personal care.
Young carers are hugely important and provide an important service: The Office for National Statistics estimate that unpaid carers save the UK economy almost £60 billion each year.
Despite this, many young carers are not getting the support they need and deserve, with the additional responsibilities often affecting their social life, confidence, and physical and mental health.
To celebrate Young Carers Awareness Day, young carers across the country have launched the #CareForMeToo campaign, in the hope that it will raise awareness and draw attention to the lack of support available for young carers.