Livewire has launched an online community for children who have siblings with a chronic health problem.
Livewire, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, today launched Livewire Siblings, a new online community, where young people aged over 10 and under 21, who have a brother or sister living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability can support and connect with one another.
Livewire Siblings (http://siblings.livewire.org.au) is a free community where young people can meet and chat online with other siblings who understand what they are going through. The site allows them to share experiences as well as gain skills and knowledge to help them feel more in control of their situation.
Currently, there are approximately 585,000 siblings, aged over 10 and under 21, of people living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability in Australia. These young people often face unique teenage challenges, and suffer a heavy emotional burden – experiencing feelings of isolation from the rest of their family and their peers; as well as guilt, confusion, anger, jealousy.
Many siblings are as emotionally vulnerable as their brother or sister as they deal with feelings of loss, anger and sadness, and come to terms with the consequences of their family’s situation. What’s more, they often receive less parental attention than their ill siblings and take on increased household responsibilities as they help their parents cope with looking after their sick brother or sister.
As part of Livewire Siblings, young people can chat online with other siblings, create blogs, read content and information created just for them, check out the latest music and games, post in forums and have their say.
Livewire Siblings is a secure, moderated community tailored to the needs of its members. Its chat hosts and moderators are trained in adolescent health, and are online seven days a week to ensure that Livewire remains a supportive and fun place to be. Livewire works closely with the Australian Federal Police to help ensure all members of Livewire remain safe while engaging with the community.