Photo by Halfpoint from iStock
The 31st January is Young Carers Awareness Day, which highlights and raises awareness for the 700,000 young carers across the UK who are currently caring for a sick or disabled family member. For 2019, this year’s Young Carers Awareness Day will focus on the theme of mental health, as being a young carer can be a risk factor for the mental health of children and young people.
Being a young carer can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence. Many young carers can struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause added pressure and stress, with many being bullied at school and 1 in 20 young carers missing school because of their caring role.
What support can young carers get?
Carers Trust is leading the way in getting carers the support they desperately need. A survey taken by the charity found that 80% of young carers are missing out on their childhood because of their caring role. While the average age of a young carer is 13, there is currently around 10,000 young carers that are between the ages of five and seven, who are providing unpaid care, with many going without the support they need. Under the Care Act 2014, young carers are entitled to an assessment.
How can I get involved in Young Carers Awareness Day?
This year, you can get involved with helping young carers on social media by using the hashtag #CareForMeToo. The campaign aims to encourage local decision makers to improve and increase support for young carers’ mental health, and you can also use this hashtag to view blogs, stories, artwork and photos from young carers about their experiences.
If you are or know a young carer that could benefit from support, this assessment will look at what can be done to make their caring role easier. To find out more about this assessment see carers.org.