Young caregivers are children and young adults who provide personal, emotional or financial support to a family member living with a chronic illness, disability or mental health concern. While there are an estimated 1.25 million young caregivers in Canada who play a vital caregiving role within their family, they often go unrecognized and unsupported by professionals in their lives.
To bring more awareness to young caregivers, the Young Caregivers Association (YCA) engaged Santis Health to support the development, launch and promotion of the Young Caregivers Knowledge Centre. As a free online platform, the Knowledge Centre is equipped with tools and resources designed to help educators, health care workers and social workers identify and support the young caregivers they unknowingly engage with in their day-to-day work.
What Santis Did
This integrated project included engagement across Santis’ Strategy, Government Relations, and Communications teams to research, consult with key stakeholders, design and promote the launch of the Knowledge Centre.
This “whole-of-team” approach was critical in the development of:
- Early engagement sessions with young caregivers, parents, professionals and government to understand their perspectives on young caregivers’ needs and the tools to best support them.
- Writing 13 young caregivers’ stories, highlighting the challenges they face in their roles and showcasing how YCA’s programs have supported their wellbeing.
- Building the Young Caregivers Knowledge Centre on YCA’s existing website, utilizing the feedback gathered during the engagement.
- Coordinating the launch of the Knowledge Centre during a virtual panel event, moderated by André Picard, Reporter and Columnist at the Globe and Mail.
- Executing a digital and print advertising campaign across the Globe and Mail, Healthing.ca, the Canadian Teacher Magazine and the Toronto Start network, with the goal of driving parents and professionals to the Knowledge Centre.
- Generating buzz leading up to the launch of the Knowledge Centre, Santis also led media relations efforts and media training with YCA’s spokespeople.
- Through this work, Santis secured a story about young caregivers’ needs that was reprinted across six publications, reaching over 1.4 million
- Additional coverage about the Knowledge Centre launch was highlighted in the Globe and Mail’s print and online editions, the Catharines Standard and Newstalk 610, reaching an additional 10 million Canadians.
- Our email campaigns related to the launch event had an open rate 32% higher than the industry average.
- Nearly 200 health, education and social service professionals engaged in the launch event.
- After attending the launch event, 95% of participants agreed that they had a better understanding of young caregivers and the important role they play in the caregiving community.