teenagers in a row

Project: Psychosocial Support for Promoting Mental health and wellbeing among adolescent young carers in Europe (Me-We)

Nearly one in ten 15-year-olds in Sweden provide substantial help and support to a relative. To care for a relative can make you feel stressed, which may lead to mental ill-health, absence from school and early school drop-out, and future health problems. The aim of Me-We is to strengthen the resilience of young adolescent carers in their transition to adult life and to make a positive contribution to their mental health and well-being.

Project information

Project manager

  • Elizabeth Hanson, Principal Investigator and scientific manager

Other project members

  • Lennart Magnusson, Rosita Brolin, Miriam Svensson, Francesco Barbabella, Tolkyn Abdikarimova and Silas Olsson, Linnaeus University
  • Francesca Centola, Olivier Jacqmain and Stecy Yghemonos, Eurocarers, Belgium
  • Saul Becker and Feylyn Lewis, University of Sussex, UK
  • Vicky Morgan, Claire Cassidy and Adem Ruggiero-Cakir, Carers Trust, UK
  • Agnes Leu, Daniel Phelps, Elena Guggiari and Alexandra Wirth, Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
  • Alice de Boer, Simone de Roos and Renske Hoefman, Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau (SCP), the Netherlands
  • Yvonne de Jong, Tamara Bouwman, Nynke de Yong, Frans van Zoest and Henk Herman Nap, Stichting Vilans, the Netherlands
  • Sara Santini and Marco Socci, Istituto Nazionale di Riposo e Cura per Anziani Inrca, Italy
  • Licia Boccaletti, Giulia Casu, Elena Mattioli and Stefania Buoni, Anziani e non solo società cooperativa sociale, Italy
  • Valentina Hlebec, Irena Bolko, Karina Sirk, Tatjana Rakar and Gregor Cotič, Univerza v Ljubljani, Slovenia

Participating organizations

  • Linnaeus University, Sweden (co-ordinator)
  • Eurocarers, Belgium
  • University of Sussex, United Kingdom
  • Carers Trust, United Kingdom
  • Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
  • Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau (SCP), the Netherlands
  • Stichting Vilans, the Netherlands
  • Istituto Nazionale di Riposo e Cura per Anziani Inrca, Italy
  • Anziani e non solo societaà cooperativa sociale, Italy
  • Univerza v Ljubljani, Slovenia

In Sweden, the following organizations also take part:

  • Maskrosbarn
  • Skolsköterskeföreningen
  • Socialstyrelsen
  • Regionförbundet, nio kommuner och landstinget i Kalmar län

EU's research and innovation program Horizon 2020, Grant Agreement number: 754702 — ME-WE — H2020-SC1-2016-2017/H2020-SC1-2017-Two-Stage-RTD
1 Jan 2018–31 Mar 2021
Health Science (Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)


Elizabeth Hanson, professor of health sciences and principal investigator, presents the Me-We project


More about the project

Adolescent young carers (AYCs) are young people (15-17 years old) providing significant or substantial care, assistance or support to other family members. The phenomenon is highly relevant across Europe, albeit specific data, awareness and supports are not frequently available. Taking on a caring role constitutes a relevant risk factor for the occurrence of both immediate and long-term problems in AYCs' mental health, well-being and development, as well as for their transitions to adulthood, social inclusion, education and employability.

The goal of the project is to strengthen the resilience of AYCs, improve their mental health and well-being, and mitigate the negative influences of psychosocial and environmental factors. The project develops an innovative framework of primary prevention interventions to be tested and adapted in six European countries (Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom) at different stages of awareness and development of services for AYCs.

The project has three specific objectives:

  1. To systematise knowledge on AYCs by (a) identifying their profiles, needs and preferences (WP1), (b) analysing national policy, legal and service frameworks (WP2), and (c) reviewing good practices, social innovations and evidence (WP3);
  2. To co-design, develop and test, together with AYCs, a framework of effective and multicomponent psychosocial interventions for primary prevention and focused on improving their mental health and well-being, to be tailored to each country context (WP4 Co-design, WP5 Implementation and WP6 Evaluation);
  3. To carry out wide knowledge translation actions for dissemination, awareness promotion and advocacy (WP7), by spreading results among relevant stakeholders at national, European and international level.

The project adopts an interdisciplinary approach by complementing expertise and longstanding experience of partners. The consortium includes Eurocarers members, research and carers organisations, working together with and for AYCs. AYCs will be continuously involved in the project – together with other stakeholders – via national Blended Learning Networks, user groups, workshops, and in an International Advisory and Ethics Board.

The project will have international impact, improving AYCs' mental health and well-being, educational outcomes, transition, employability and social inclusion, as well as creating evidence-based practices, to improve health equity and societal benefits.

The project is part of the research in the Nationellt kompetenscentrum Anhöriga (Swedish Family Care Competence Centre) research group.