1. ITV Report

Over one third of young carers feel stressed

New research reveals that over one third of young people aged 11-18 in Great Britain who give up time to care for someone they live with are experiencing widespread problems with their mental wellbeing.

Credit: PA

The YouGov survey was commissioned by the UK charity, Carers Trust, to mark Young Carers Awareness Day.

Of the young carers responding to the survey, 37% said they felt 'stressed' while 32% said they felt 'worried' because of caring for someone. And 50% of those who reported stress said they 'often' felt that way.

The YouGov study also found that:

  • Almost a quarter (23%) of young carers felt their caring role had, on at least one occasion, stopped them making friends
  • Less than half (44%) felt they got enough help with their emotions and feelings
  • Not enough support for young carers' mental health

The research also suggests that too many young carers are not getting the right support to address their negative feelings. 22% of young carers responding to the survey, who had negative feelings about caring, said they did not speak to anyone about their feelings. And just 6% said they would speak to a professional working in mental health services.

Young carers have made it clear to Carers Trust there needs to be far greater public awareness of the difficult and stressful responsibilities they take on.

This is why young carers chose #CareForMeToo as the campaign name for Young Carers Awareness Day 2019.

Carers Trust agrees and is calling for:

  • Health and social care professionals to receive mandatory training pre-registration so they are more aware of young carers' needs and better able to identify them.
  • Statutory agencies from health, social care and education sectors to receive funding so they can identify and support young carers, and undertake their legal duties as required by the Children and Families Act 2014.
  • Schools in England to adopt the Step-by-Step Guide to identification and support for young carers in Schools.
  • Implementation in England of The Children and Young People's Mental Health Provision Green Paper which must explicitly address the mental health needs of young carers.

Giles Meyer, Carers Trust CEO, said:

Right across Britain today hundreds of thousands of young people are having to care for family members with complex needs. These problems, which many adults would struggle to deal with, range from disability and terminal illness to mental health problems, alcoholism and substance misuse.

"The YouGov survey we commissioned points to the toll these challenging responsibilities are placing on the mental wellbeing of young carers, many of whom juggle complex challenges and pressures every day.

"It's hardly surprising therefore that so many of the young carers we speak to are crying out for help and support to ease the stress and worry they experience as a result of caring for someone. They know that, left unnoticed or ignored, these negative feelings can quickly escalate into poor mental health.

"That's why this Young Carers Awareness Day we are calling for professionals to receive mandatory training on how to identify young carers at a much earlier stage. This will help ensure young carers and their problems do not go unnoticed, and instead get appropriate support for their mental health, preventing the build-up of long term problems with their mental health."

– Giles Meyer
  • For more information on Young Carers Awareness Day 2019, please click here
  • The research is available at this website