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The European voice for informal carers

ME-WE live workshop at the online World Carers Conversation 2022 event!

On May 19, 2022, the online World Carers Conversation 2022 was held, where innovations in caregiving research, practice and policy from around the world were highlighted.

Prof. Elizabeth Hanson chaired a live workshop session which involved Prof. Saul Becker, Dr. Feylyn Lewis and Miriam Svensson. Together, they presented results from the Eurocarers consortium  ME-WE project, which aimed to promote mental health and well-being among adolescent young carers (AYCs) in Europe. The project, which started in January 2018 and ended in June 2021, was the first major project to provide cross-country data regarding AYCs.

Saul Becker and Feylyn Lewis kicked off the session with a presentation of the first objective within the ME-WE project, where AYCs´ situation, needs and preferences were investigated. They explained that the survey concluded that AYCs for instance experience deteriorating mental health and school difficulties, both in terms of school performance and bullying, as a result of their caring role. To improve their situation, the AYCs wanted different types of support, such as more free time, emotional support, financial assistance and educational support.

– These results led to the co-design and testing of the primary preventive, psychosocial ME-WE intervention, Elizabeth Hanson continued.

Miriam Svensson explained that the ME-WE intervention consists of ME-WE groups and the free mobile app “ME-WE young carers”. The ME-WE groups, which are based on the DNA-V model that has its roots in ACT, can either be held online or face to face. The groups consist of 8 sessions, about 2 hours each. The results from the ME-WE intervention revealed that it has the potential of contributing to AYCs´ increased wellbeing and boosting their resilience.

Feylyn Lewis  followed up by discussing with the global audience how the ME-WE intervention could work in other countries and organisations. Among other things, the importance of capturing AYCs in school settings and in youth organisations was highlighted.

The session was rounded off by Saul Becker who summed up the session by presenting the key highlights from the session, which included the messages that analysis is important, but action is also important. Further, young carers’ services need to be seen as an investment and not purely as a cost.

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Miriam Svensson, Elizabeth Hanson, Nka, 22-05-21.

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