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New scheme to support young carers with mental health issues launched in Dereham

PUBLISHED: 15:40 16 June 2017

Young carers, members of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum, at the launch of their campaign Carers in Mind. From left, Chloe Hembling, 15; Conner Forshaw, 15; James Simmons, 14;  Callum Rose, 20; Lynne Haverson, 14; Catherine Farnham, 22; and Annaleise Attoe, 15. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Young carers, members of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum, at the launch of their campaign Carers in Mind. From left, Chloe Hembling, 15; Conner Forshaw, 15; James Simmons, 14; Callum Rose, 20; Lynne Haverson, 14; Catherine Farnham, 22; and Annaleise Attoe, 15. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A new service for young carers who are dealing with mental health issues has launched to coincide with National Carers Week.

Young carers, members of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum, make a presentation for the launch of the Carers in Mind campaign. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYYoung carers, members of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum, make a presentation for the launch of the Carers in Mind campaign. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Carers in Mind campaign was announced at Dereham Football Club on Thursday June 15 by the Carers Trust Norfolk and its aim is to help those who are affected by health problems such as depression.

The initiative is part of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum, which is made up of young carers from across the country who are trying to improve the lives of people working within their industry.

Beth, 17, has been a carer since the age of five. Her mother became depressed after her father died while he was serving in the army.

She said: “When my brother was born, he was diagnosed at two with Asperger’s and I started going to Young Carers. My mum has fibromyalgia, autism, bi-polar, ME, arthritis, hip dysplasia, inverted hips and my brother has different things including Asperger’s and Irlens syndrome.

“It is hard sometimes and I have depression and anxiety with everything that happened in my life and all this stuff doesn’t help with it. I’ve been in counselling since I was five, but being involved with Young Carers helps because it helps me to control my anxiety. Being part of the Forum puts me into situations I would never typically put myself in which helps with my confidence.

“I’ve made nearly all my best friends here and it’s a place I can escape and feel accepted.”

Andy McGowan, Norfolk Young Carers lead participation worker, said: “The Carers in Mind campaign is designed to help shine the light on this hidden group of young people to ensure that they get the support that they need at an early stage.

“We want to help raise awareness and increase confidence for professionals across a range of sectors, including health, education, statutory and voluntary sector to ensure that these young carers are not being forgotten.”

- Young carers in Norfolk who would like further information about the Forum or campaign can contact Andy on Andy.McGowan@carerstrustnorfolk.org or phone 01953 878143.

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