1 in 3 young car­ers needs help

Daily Express - - News - By Sarah O’Grady So­cial Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent

HUN­DREDS of thousands of young car­ers are so over­whelmed by their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties their men­tal health is suf­fer­ing, a char­ity warns.

About 800,000 young­sters aged 11 to 18 in Eng­land care for par­ents or sib­lings with med­i­cal prob­lems.

Just un­der 250,000 of them are stressed while 240,000 are con­stantly wor­ried.

Over a third (37 per cent) said they were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing wide­spread prob­lems with their men­tal well­be­ing.

The find­ings are re­vealed in a hard-hit­ting re­port, pub­lished to­day by Car­ers Trust to mark Young Car­ers Aware­ness Day.

Char­ity boss Giles Meyer, said: “Right across Bri­tain to­day hun­dreds of thousands of young peo­ple are hav­ing to care for fam­ily mem­bers with com­plex needs.

“These chal­leng­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are af­fect­ing the men­tal well­be­ing of young car­ers, many of whom jug­gle com­plex chal­lenges and pres­sures ev­ery day.

“It’s hardly sur­pris­ing that so many of the young car­ers we speak to are cry­ing out for help.” Only 44 per cent said they felt they got enough help with their emo­tions, the sur­vey of 1,080 car­ers aged be­tween 11 and 18 found.

More than one in five (22 per cent) of those who had neg­a­tive feel­ings about car­ing said they did not speak to any­one about their feel­ings.

Car­ers Trust wants to see health and so­cial care pro­fes­sion­als

trained to be more aware of young car­ers’ needs.

It said statu­tory agen­cies from health, so­cial care and ed­u­ca­tion sec­tors should also re­ceive fund­ing so they can sup­port young car­ers.

And it called for the Govern­ment’s Trans­form­ing Chil­dren and Young Peo­ple’s Men­tal Health Pro­vi­sion green paper to be put into ef­fect in Eng­land. Chil­dren’s

ser­vices face a £3.1bil­lion fund­ing gap by 2025, warned Cllr An­ntoinette Bram­ble, chair of the Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion’s chil­dren and young peo­ple board.

“Ev­ery young carer has a right to an as­sess­ment to find out if they need ad­di­tional sup­port, and coun­cils will do all they can to pro­vide this sup­port where needs are iden­ti­fied,” she said.

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