This year's Young Carers Awareness Day take place on Thursday 31st January and the focus is mental health as the pressures of caring can lead to mental health problems, anxiety and stress.
The Carers Trust, which oversees the Day, wants to improve awareness about the mental health support needs of young carers. To tie in with the Day we want YOU to get involved and ‘Walk a mile in young carers’ shoes’. This could involve thinking about what young carers’ lives are like, their priorities, feelings and experiences and taking action to help.
There are various ways you can get involved, including:
• Organising an activity such as a cake sale or a sponsored walk and donate the money to support our work with young carers. Walking can improve mental health as it releases endorphins that boost energy and mood; or
• Sharing information about young carers and the support available.
Laura Green, one of our Young Carers Service Team Leaders, said: “We hope to improve peoples’ understanding of young carers and the impact that caring can have upon a child or young person.”
Figures from a recent NHS survey found that 13% of young carers had anxiety or depression compared to 8% of others their age without caring responsibilities. In addition, a Carers Trust survey of 350 young carers showed 48% felt stressed as a result of caring and 44% were tired.
Laura said: “Talking about how you’re feeling and your mental health can help you feel happy and healthy. We provide advice and support to young carers and their families to try and reduce the young person’s caring role. We also provide free activities to give young carers a break from caring and reduce isolation as they meet other young carers.”
Last year we provided one to one support to 245 young carers and their families and for 47% of the young carers our involvement helped reduce their caring role.
Whatever you do to mark Young Carers Awareness Day 2019, we would love to know. You can share tweets on January 31st @ycherts using the hashtag #YoungCarersAwarenessDay and #walkamile.
For more information about the support we provide young carers in Hertfordshire please call us on 01992 58 69 69 or look around this website or our young carers website www.ycih.org