Miscellaneous

My Mental Health as a Young Carer

Written by Courtney, 18, a university student and a young carer.

A Young Carer is someone under the age of 18, who provides unpaid care to a family member of friend who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

I became a Young Carer at the age of 17 when my mum had an accident and severely damaged her knee. This resulted in her being in hospital for 6 days, throughout this time I was at home caring for my nan and also looking after my younger brother. Then, my mum came home and she wasn’t mobile, this meant I had to provide 24 hour care to my mum also. Until you find yourself in this situation I don’t think you really understand how hard it is. I was having to cook all meals, wash, dry and iron the clothes, go shopping, clean the house, collect medication from the pharmacy, help with personal care and a lot more. All whilst being a full time college student – this took a huge toll on my own health, my mental health started to decline.

Until you find yourself in this situation I don’t think you really understand how hard it is. I was having to cook all meals, wash, dry and iron the clothes, go shopping, clean the house, collect medication from the pharmacy, help with personal care and a lot more. All whilst being a full time college student – this took a huge toll on my own health, my mental health started to decline.

Providing care for someone 24 hours a day is really difficult, when professionals go home at 5pm, us as carers continue to provide that care.

I never thought I would be in this position of being a carer, but here I am. Although my caring role has meant I have had to grow up quicker than a lot of other young people, its taught me some valuable lessons.

This year I decided things need to change for Unpaid Carers and I’ve helped make some of these changes.One of the main things that needs to change is more awareness of Young Carers – I created a campaign around this as part of one of my modules and presented this in front of students, creating more awareness. In addition to this, I’ve shared my own story of being a Young Carer in the hope of creating more awareness.

One of the main things that needs to change is more awareness of Young Carers – I created a campaign around this as part of one of my modules and presented this in front of students, creating more awareness. In addition to this, I’ve shared my own story of being a Young Carer in the hope of creating more awareness.

It’s so important Young Carers receive help and support, however, a huge amount go unidentified, therefore, they go unsupported. I’ve started a petition calling on government to make it mandatory for professionals to receive training around carers and their needs – This would help professionals know how to better identify carers. Link is below 👇🏼

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/245415

‘There are around 700,000 Young Carers in the UK.’

If you are a Young Carer or know a Young Carer I urge you to reach out for help and support or encourage someone to.

For me, admitting I was a carer and going to a carers service for help and support was hard, but one of the best things I did.

Carers are not valued enough… it takes a lot for one person to care for another ❤️

Courtney… x

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