There are many young people who have family members or friends with mental health issues.
If you are a young carer, you know this can sometimes lead to stigma, isolation, worries about your own health and the day-to-day stresses of being in a caring role, including household responsibilities. At the same time, you are also trying to manage the challenges of growing up, and combined, this can impact on your education, work opportunities, relationships, friendships, health and identity.
Although it can be difficult, many young carers say that there are lots of positives about their caring role, such as learning new things and developing strengths. Despite challenges, young carers can live happy and active lives.
Some things you might find useful as a young carer:
Reach out for help: if you are feeling stressed, worried or tired ask for help. This may be someone you trust at school, or in your family or community. There are websites, support services available and numbers you can call, all providing helpful information for young people, including young carers.
Our Helpline can connect you with these services.
Take a break: you might find it helpful to get away so you can have time to yourself, learn new skills and make friends. You can read more about self-care and wellbeing for families, friends and carers here.
Talk to someone: it can be helpful to speak with a professional or someone you trust about your experiences. Sharing what you are going through can make everything seem less overwhelming.
Connect with other young carers: this can help you see that you aren’t alone. You can talk about your experience with other people who understand, and they may have some good advice.
Learn about mental health: it can feel overwhelming to take on extra work when you are already so busy, but finding time to learn about mental health will help you better understand what your family member or friend is going through. Read more about how families, friends and carers can help here.
If you need to talk, call our Helpline.
Learn more about:
- support for families, friends and carers
- mental illness
- causes and contributing factors
- what helps
- the importance of identity and belonging
- our peer education programs
- our community education programs
- our research on community inclusion
Remember, you are not alone. Hear stories from people who have been there.
For more information, please contact Wellways on 1300 111 400.