Young carers can experience a number of challenges as a result of their family situation. These can include feeling worried about family members, feeling tired and stressed from helping the family on a day-to-day basis, feeling worried about their own health and experiencing stigma and isolation. At the same time, young carers are also trying to manage the ordinary stresses of growing up.
These experiences can have an impact on a young person’s education, work opportunities, relationships, friendships and sense of self. There is help available to young carers, including the following programs, many of which have been developed by people with experience as a young carer.
A peer-support program for young people aged 8 to 12 years, who have a parent and/or family member experiencing mental health issues. The aim of the program is to provide parents and children opportunities to spend time with others who may have had similar experiences, to gain support and age appropriate information.
A peer-support program for young people aged 13 to 18 years, who have a parent and/or family member experiencing mental health challenges. It provides participants with the opportunity to share their experiences and be supported by other young people who are in a situation similar to their own. With a focus on early intervention and prevention, the overall aim of OurSpace is to reduce the likelihood of the development of mental health difficulties in young people who have been identified as being at increased risk.
Social Inclusion and Respite
Programs supported by staff and volunteers to give young people time out from their caring role in a safe environment. They provide an opportunity to meet others in a similar situation, which often normalises experience and reduces social isolation. The programs are carefully balanced to offer support, education, wellbeing and fun.
Peer support, leadership and youth participation are at the core of these programs. Many young carers say that, with support, there are many positive experiences that can come from their caring role, including learning new things and developing strengths. Despite challenges, young carers can live happy and active lives.
For more information, please contact Wellways on 1300 111 400.
Programs are run through Wellways and other partner organisations.