[Sub ID 4232] Carer Youth Ambassadors and Mentors (The Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW)
Summary for publishing
Submission ID: 4232
Organisation name: The Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW
Contact name: Dr Ellen Marks
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
What need or issue are you trying to address?
In Australia there are an estimated 2.7 million unpaid carers, with around 300 000, or 1 in 10 identified as young carers . Half of all young carers are school age at under 18 years old . The above statistics significantly underestimate the number of young carers by an estimated 75,000 people , which highlights the importance of identification of young carers. This may be due to a lack of awareness, stigma, a fear of repercussions and cultural beliefs. Early identification of carers and supportive holistic interventions will improve education outcomes (school completion), mental health and other socioeconomic outcomes for young carers.
What is your idea?
Carer Youth Ambassadors and Mentors (CYAM)
The proposed CYAM initiative aims to take a peer led (by Youth Ambassadors and Mentors) approach to improving outcomes from young carers of those with a mental illness to intervene early through identification and engagement with young carers.
CYAM has two main delivery modes.
Firstly, Ambassadors aid identification and education of carers by delivering educational programs on mental illness and carers to students and teachers on school campuses. Secondly, CYAM will provide carer Mentors for one-on-one coaching which would include support for schooling, navigating the mental health system and career advice.
CYAM Ambassadors are well placed to identify young carers in school based programs as a result of their own experiences or passion. Ambassadors could be found within the schools themselves and trained and supported by CYAM, or provided by CYAM should the need arise. By using school-based Ambassadors, the costs of the program are contained and creates self-sufficiency, self-sustainability and self-disemmination of awareness.
Secondly, CYAM will provide carer Mentors for one-on-one coaching which would include support for schooling, navigating the mental health system and career advice. Mentors could be carers who have previously completed high school or those with a passion to improve the lives of others. Mentors are provided training and support by the CYAM program.