With youth mental health issues on the rise, CAL introduced the 8-week Young Caregivers (YCG) Programme in 2020 to equip youths with the knowledge and skills to cope with the demands of caring for a family member, relative, or friend with mental health concerns. Since then, CAL has been working closely with schools and institutes of higher learning (IHL), conducting more than 15 runs of C2C for their students.
Most recently, 18 students from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) – comprising peer caregivers, professional caregivers and persons-in-recovery – successfully completed the 8-week programme. This was the inaugural run of C2C-YCG for SUSS in collaboration with the Centre for Experiential Learning, Office of Student Life.
“The Young Caregivers Programme with CAL has given me the opportunity to meet people with similar experiences while learning how to properly care for myself and the people I am close to. The sessions made me realise how important the caregiver’s health is and self-care would enhance the caring process,” shares Latricia, SUSS Student and graduate from the programme.
The emphasis on peer-learning, where participants get to learn from one another’s sharing and experiences in a safe environment, is what makes this programme unique. This is in addition to having instructors who are themselves youth caregivers, in order for participants to better relate.
CAL plans to offer more runs of the programme to meet the needs of students who are young caregivers. “Given the number of life transitions and stressors that youth face in today’s society, it’s important for them to equip themselves with adequate knowledge and skills about mental health and caregiving to protect themselves from developing mental health conditions,” said Veena, CAL’s Children & Youth Outreach Manager. "The knowledge and skills gained from this programme will enable them to provide caregiving and emotional support with confidence, while still maintaining good self-care," she added.
For schools and IHLs, enquire here.
For young caregivers, sign up for the Young Caregivers Programme here.