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Need and Usage of Different Kind of Support among Young Informal Carers of Persons with Mental Illness
Ali, Lilas, Hedman Ahlström, Britt, Krevers, Barbro, Sjöström, Nils, Skärsäter, Ingela
Background: The high prevalence of mental illness among young person’s means that their relatives and close friends are exposed to stress by having to take on the responsibility for the support of family members or friends in difficult situations of life when suffering from mental illness. Young informal carers have shown to be exposed to a great burden in which they put their own daily tasks aside in order to stay close to the person who suffers from mental illness. Objective: Explore how young (16–25) informal carers of a person with a mental illness experience and use different kind of support, such as web-support, counseling, and group counseling, friends, family, relatives support societies, health care services etc. Method: In a mixed method approach, we first interviewed 12 young carers, and 241 completed a self-administered questionnaire. While the young carers strive to maintain control, their main support seems to be others in their lives, who often define the situation differently. Results: The carers said web-support, counseling, and group counseling might be helpful, yet very few had any professional support. The results also showed that the young informal carers’ safety net is their social network and the person who suffer from mental illness. Conclusion: Young informal carers are in need of a combination of web-based and face-to-face person-centered support, but they do not receive it. Professional support is required. Further studies about the needs of young informal carers of persons with mental illness especially those supporting friends, is necessary to gain before planning to start support interventions for them.
- DiVA: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-27243