When you take on extra jobs to help your parent

Do you do any of the below to help your parent when they’re unwell, like:

  • cooking or cleaning
  • helping them with medication or appointments
  • checking on your parent to make sure they are okay?

You might be a young carer. 

It’s not a great term because most young people don’t think of themselves as ‘carers’ BUT there are lots of really good young carer programs and supports – so don’t be put off if you see the term!

Helping out around the house

If your parent isn’t able to do their usual household jobs, it is good to help out – but don’t take on all the things they used to do by yourself.

Talk about how to manage with help from the rest of your family or see if you can get some extra help from relatives, friends, your school counsellor or support services in your local area. (Call the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222).

Free help is available

If you are under 25 years old and helping to care for your parent when they have a mental illness, you can get support. Visit the Young Carers Australia website or call them on 1800 242 636.

You can also check out the state-based carer websites below

  • Young carers NSW
    Here you will find important information and contacts, along with opportunities to express your opinions and provide feedback. There are games for when you feel like chilling out for a while.
  • Young carers VIC
    The Respite Connections Young Carer team can help if you are at risk of leaving school or a job training program early due to your caring responsibilities.
  • Young carers QLD
    Support any young carer aged 10-25 years by providing free telephone and face-to-face counselling, offering information about available services and running support groups.
  • Young carers SA
    Can help you balance caring, study and having a social life too. Checkout their website or call 1800 815 549.
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  • Young carers WA
    This website provides information and advice for young carers on looking after yourself, coping with school and your caring role, supports you can access and much more. Plus, keep up to date with news and events that you can get involved in and have your say about how it feels to be a young carer.
  • Young carers TAS
    Can’t get to school? No time for homework? Stressed out? Want to talk to somebody? There’s lots of info here – but even more once you register with their Young Carer Program.
  • Young carers NT
    Provides young carers with an opportunity to talk through their issues, either with their peers or with supportive staff and adult volunteers.
  • Young carers ACT
    They know that being a young carer can be tough – but it is important to know that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. There are people to talk to who can help. Call (02) 6296 9900 to chat to the Young Carer Coordinator.

Download Free COPMI Resources

For use by families where a parent has a mental illness, their supporters, and services who work with them.