19 December 2013

Looking After Mum

youngcarersfilmWe know that Christmas and New Year can be particularly difficult for people living with mental health problems.

But the burden on young carers can also be particularly heavy at this time of year, especially if they feel they are bearing that burden alone.

A new AWP film featuring two plucky young carers from Bristol - 16 year old Naz and 20 year old Carina - is aiming to let other young people know about the support that is out there.

Working with mental health worker Simon Smith from the Bristol intensive team and film maker John Thompson, Naz and Carina have made a film reflecting on their experiences and encouraging other young people to join local young carers groups and to ask for support and advice.

The film, Looking After Mum, is available now on the AWP YouTube channel and is being used and circulated by Bristol Black Carers and Carers Support Centre Bristol. The local media - The Post and BBC Radio Bristol - are also publicising the film in the run-up to the festive period.

Simon said, "Although this is a particularly poignant time, this is a film for all seasons, not just for Christmas. Young carers often fall through the gaps - they feel alone, that they are the only ones in their situation, and they don't realise that help and support is available to them. Naz and Carina both speak incredibly eloquently and positively about their experiences - we hope that the film will encourage many more young people who have parents with mental health problems to come forward, get help and join groups where they can get peer support, make friends and actually have the kind of fun they should be having at their age.

"The film will also be useful for staff who want to get young carers more involved in informing their mum or dad's care, and for encouraging parents with mental health problems to talk more openly with their children. I would ask colleagues across the Trust to encourage service users and their children to watch the film."

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