You are not alone when it comes to having a parent with a mental illness. There are around 3.7 million other young people in the UK in similar situations. While you may not feel comfortable telling everyone about your home life, opening up to a person you trust – be that a friend, relative or even a teacher – can help.
If you’ve not spoken to anyone about your parent’s mental illness, it can feel unsafe to open up and talk about your thoughts and feelings for the first time. Remember that:
- You’re not the only one in this situation
- There’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ family
- Your parent having a mental illness doesn’t mean you will get one too
- There’s nothing to be ashamed of and there’s nothing wrong with talking about mental illness
- There’s nothing wrong with you!
If at any time you’re really worried about your parent’s situation and need someone to talk to, you can get urgent help here.
There are probably other people in your school or college who are going through a similar experience
It is likely that there is someone in school that you feel you can trust and will listen to you and help you manage the stress of having a parent with a mental illness. Many schools have young carers groups and other support systems for young people who have different caring responsibilities. On average there are eight students in every classroom affected by this issue, so bringing it to your school’s attention may help others too.
Other young carers’ advice and experiences
A young carer explains how finding a positive role model who supports you and helps you to think positively can be useful.
Another carer explains how discussing her mum’s mental illness and opening up about her emotions helped her.