Young Caregivers Community
Fatima Saqib, Arshdeep Raul
Young caregivers take on the immense responsibility to support their family when a member is going through a challenging time due to illness, disability, mental health, addiction, language barrier or loss of a primary caregiver. Despite the fact that 1.9 million individuals in Canada serve as young caregivers (Statistics Canada, 2012), lack of awareness and support remains a challenge. Our goal is to provide these 1.9 million young carers with a platform where they are heard and can live out the childhood many of them have stated to miss out on (Young Caregivers Association 2021) due to the load of their responsibilities. The Young Caregivers Community strives to meet the needs of young caregivers in Ontario while fostering a sense of community with a mobile app and community based support. The community support systems focus on connecting young caregivers with local resources and raising awareness of the challenges they are facing. Our app features allow young caregivers to connect with their teachers, doctors, healthcare professionals and other young caregivers. Our app is programmed to help young caregivers share their voices and provide them with the resources and guidance to support their mental wellbeing from their own home. As we embark on this journey to connect, guide, and empower young caregivers, we hope to achieve equity in the community, while helping our young caregivers build strength and courage.
What Makes Your Project Remarkable?
What is remarkable about our project is that we are youth-supporting youth. Our project strives to connect young caregivers across Ontario and provide support on a community level. Currently, there are limited resources, research and support available to support the needs of young caregivers in Canada. Our project hopes to change that and help our young caregivers reach their fullest potential. While serving as a young caregiver is a rewarding experience, it can be said without a doubt that there are various challenges of this role on a young carer's mental and physical health. We are creating a unique approach to bettering the mental health of young carers through a community based system. Recognizing that lack of community and support is a major social determinant of health, our app will be programmed to connect young carers to one another allowing them to connect, attend events together and relieve stress.
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