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There are celebrations across Australia for National Carers Week 2022, a week to recognise the vital work paid and unpaid carers do.
Carers - whether they be family members, friends, kin or someone introduced - are essential for many people with mental health conditions, and it's important to recognise that carers need support too.
It's a situation that Dr Caroline Lambert notes carries not only predictable stressors, but plenty of unrecognised burdens, too. She writes about her experiences as a young carer in 'From Time Slips to Visceral Disquiet' for Croakey.
"The experience of supporting someone is sometimes portrayed as an act of altruistic, selfless benevolence... This one-dimensional depiction does no favours in representing the diverse and intersectional identity and experience of carers, nor to consumers, whose relationships with that person or persons, may be characterised by violence, misery, or suffering," she writes.
One particularly vulnerable group is young carers, who may not recognise that they are acting in the carer role until well after the fact. Without support, these young people experience less favourable health, mental health and educational outcomes.
To help raise recognition of young carers and offer the support they need, National Carers Week has developed a resource for school and support staff, which can be accessed here. The organisation is also encouraging people to record their experiences this week and tag @youngcarersnetwork on Instagram.