Writes Natalie Valios
Of the 175,000 young carers in the UK, over 50,000 support someone with mental health problems, Drew Lindon, policy and development officer for mental health at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, told CC Live yesterday.
Lindon said the figures were likely to be an under-estimate, but said caring had an impact on child’s physical health, emotional well-being and their future prospects. Young carers suffered from overwork and lack of sleep, guilt and a restriction on social and learning opportunities.
“Children often only receive services when their caring role has already caused damage to their well-being,” Lindon added.
Lindon pointed out that limited communication and co-operation between adults and children’s services is detrimental to young carers.
“It’s common for adult mental health services not to know how many clients have children. It’s about working together with your peers more effectively and working with us,” he said.
And he warned, “If you don’t look after the carer you end up with two patients instead of one in the long term. This is more important now than it ever has been before and it’s only going to get more important.”