Helping to care for a loved one can be quite challenging and many young carers experience a range of feelings about their caring role. You might feel happy, worried, upset, frustrated, isolated, stressed or angry and at times you might be unsure of how to deal with this roller-coaster of emotions. If you feel like you would like to have a really good talk with someone about the ups and downs of being a young carer, then our counselling program might just be for you!

As a young carer, sometimes you might face challenging situations like:

  • Finding it difficult to concentrate at school, TAFE, uni or work
  • Finding it hard to make time for your friends
  • Worrying about your family member’s health
  • Feeling overloaded with responsibilities
  • Finding it hard to relax

If this sounds like you or someone you know, that’s ok, read on to see how you can get help!

What is counselling?

Seeing a counsellor is a chance for you to talk to someone about your life as a young carer and how this makes you feel. It will also give you the opportunity to work out some ideas for dealing with any challenging situations. Whatever you say to the counsellor will remain private, unless you share something that shows that your own safety is at risk. It might feel a little weird in the beginning to share your feelings with a stranger, that’s totally understandable! However, you don’t need to worry, the counsellor will have experience working with young people and will have an understanding of the issues that young carers face.

What types of counselling are available?

Carer Counselling is now provided through Carer Gateway by calling 1800 422 737 or visiting www.carergateway.gov.au.

What are the benefits of counselling for young carers?

You might find that talking to someone who doesn’t know you or your family can help a lot.

Every young carer is an individual, but some of the benefits of counselling for young carers include:

  • Building coping skills
  • Feeling heard, understood & validated
  • Increased feelings of confidence and a sense of control
  • Feeling less isolated
  • Reinforcement of identity beyond the carer role
  • Development of self-care strategies
  • Linking to relevant supports and services

How much will it cost?

The Carer Gateway Counselling Service is a free service for carers.

Sounds great! How can I organise counselling?

You can arrange counselling sessions for yourself or give consent for someone else to make a referral on your behalf.

For yourself:

  • Call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737
  • A trained operator will assess your eligibility and collect some personal details
  • An appropriate counsellor will be allocated to you, based on your location, counselling needs and availability

Otherwise, call the Young Carer Team on (02) 9280 4744 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) to have a chat about your options.