Upopolis YAP Island: A space for youth of adult patients: Part 1

Have U heard? We have a new Island!

In 2020, we expanded Upopolis to include Islands – a place where youth navigating stressful life events can connect in private groups with other youth who are going through the same experiences, like grief and sibling illness. This year, the expansion continued to include a space for youth who have a medically ill parent or caregiver. We’re so excited to be able to support youth ANYWHERE in the world with another Island!

Upopolis YAP (Youth of Adult Patients) Island is an online private group within the Upopolis platform for youth aged 10 – 18 who have a parent or caregiver who is living, or has recently been diagnosed with, a serious medical illness. Statistics show that 31% of women and 20% of males diagnosed with cancer are a parent or caregiver of a Canadian youth – and this is only one of the dozens of serious illnesses that adults endure. The Upopolis YAP Island can function as an accessible form of moderated support for youth who would benefit from a) connecting with peers experiencing a similar situation and b) accessing resources and psychosocial support from Certified Child Life Specialists.

Upopolis YAP Island provides:

  • A sense of belonging to a safe, secure, private online community so youth can connect with other youth and professionals while navigating their caregiver’s illness
  • Age-appropriate information designed to help youth understand their caregiver’s diagnosis
  • Affirmation via shared experiences with peers
  • Easily accessible content that offers tips, activities, and resources to help youth cope with the feelings and experiences associated with having a sick caregiver

What are the benefits of YAP Island?

  • Monitored daily by a Certified Child Life Specialist, a professional with experience and education in supporting youth who are coping with serious situations, and the effects of this on the family
  • Fully accessible on any device with internet or data access
  • Provides an opportunity to directly connect with others who are experiencing a caregiver who is sick; sharing experiences helps youth process their feelings and provides them with a sense of control as they support others
  • Opportunity to ask a child life specialist questions related to their experience
  • Access to programming and group workshops

Next month, keep a watch out for Part 2 of our YAP Island blog series – we’ll be giving you 5 tips for how to support children and youth who have a parent or caregiver with a serious medical illness.

If you know a youth who would benefit from meeting other youth who are going through this same experience, refer them to YAP Island TODAY by visiting this link!

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