Young carers’ mental health
A new report has highlighted the importance of looking after our young carers in the UK. The country’s youngest caregivers are at increasing risk of mental health problems, an issue that is very seldom understood or investigated.
The report highlights several areas that need more attention including greater support from local government and more focus on young carers at a national level.
Young carers have significantly worse mental health than their peers, the report said. Almost half reported being stressed and the same figure said they felt tired of their role. A massive 38% suffered from some form of mental health issue. So it’s clearly time something was done.
Carers saving the UK a fortune
With all the major news about tax evasion that’s being thrown around at the minute, sometimes the major news stories get lost in the mix. That’s what has happened with the information that carers are saving the UK around £87 billion a year in potential costs.
That amount is more than the total government spend on the NHS last year and reveals the true extent of the work carers are doing in the UK, for no reward. The figures were calculated by the University of Leeds and published in respected carer’s journal Carers UK.
When broken down, the numbers reveal that every carer in the UK is saving the taxpayer around £15,260 a year. So, even if a small number of them were to give up their unpaid roles and let the state carry the burden, it would amount to a huge sum. This comes at a time when financial support for carers is being reduced all the time.
It also points out that we should not be taking for granted all the hard work that our carers do day in and day out for no financial gain. A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: ‘We are revising the carers strategy; this is the most far-reaching consultation on the future of carers with the fullest engagement of carers and their families. Carers UK’s recommendations will certainly be taken into consideration as part of the revision of the strategy.’
That’s it for this month. Join us again next month for more news on carers, care stories, health and safety issues (including training and equipment).