The research, which is the first of its kind, explores the difficulties facing LGBT young adult carers in comparison with young adult carers and LGBT young people in general. The research, called Young people caring OUT there: experiences of LGBT young adult carers in Scotland, highlighted a number of key differences including:
- LGBT young adult carers are three times more likely to experience bullying than young adult carers and 15% more likely compared to LGBT young people.
- LGBT young adult carers are more than three times more likely to have a mental health problem.
- LGBT young adult carers are twice more likely to feel their health is just ‘Ok’ or ‘Poor’ compared to young adult carers.
Paul Traynor, Young Adult Carer Policy & Campaigns Officer for Carers Trust Scotland, said:
“Our research reinforces what we were hearing from LGBT young adult carers across Scotland. They are being negatively impacted in most areas of their lives because of their caring role, gender identity or sexual orientation. They can usually access support if they are a LGBT young person or a young carer, but not a dedicated service if they are both. However, the difficulties they face are complex and specific to their situation.
“We are campaigning for a number of recommendations to be made such as greater awareness in education and health settings, improved assessment and tailored support services.”
Simon, a LGBT young adult carer from Fife, said:
“I find it hard to talk to the person I care for, so they don’t know I’m LGBT. They have mental health problems and they don’t like the idea of gay people so I wouldn’t feel safe. I’d like people in education to understand what we go through and offer support for being LGBT and a young adult carer – not one or the other.”
Clair, from Renfrewshire who cares for her mum, added:
“The worst part of being an LGBT young adult carer is the stigma still attached to the role and the amount of judgement that is still out there for both titles, so having two of them together can be difficult. I hope that this research helps to lessen the stigma and educates people on how the lives of LGBT carers are day to day.”