Growing up with a parent who has a mental illness can sometimes make you feel like you’re all alone. But it’s really important to remember that there are plenty of other children, young people and adults who are affected by their parents’ mental illness. In the UK alone, there are nearly 3.7 million young people in this situation. We’ve got stories from some of them on Our Time’s website.
Ambeya explains how she felt alone when she started caring for her mum.
Kirsty explains how she felt unable to speak about her dad’s illness at school to her friends or teachers
Who can I talk to?
It is important that you have someone to talk to about your home situation. It doesn’t have to be one of your friends, it can be anybody, maybe a family member, an adult in school or a youth worker. There may even be a young carers group in your school for young people in a similar situation. Remember, your teacher has taught plenty of people in all sorts of situations and they will be aware of what a young carer is and what support you might be able to get at school. You can find out more about discussing mental illness, as well as hear from other young carers on the Our Time website.
Avoiding activities and social situations
Your situation at home may mean that you avoid having friends over or spending time with friends outside of school or college. Maybe you feel that you don’t have time for it, or perhaps your parent doesn’t see many people from outside the family, but it’s important that you don’t become isolated and that you find ways to socialise, maybe by doing something with others such as sport, drama or music. Find out more about coping with stress.