17.01.2024 - Over the Christmas break, Bris has had over 2,600 supportive conversations with children, more than ever before. Many children have sought support due to adults' drinking around Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
The spring term has now started and the Christmas break is over. In the national support line for children, Bris has received over 2,600 calls, an increase of 13 percent compared to the same period last year. Half of these calls are about mental health issues and concerns about depression, anxiety, and suicide.
'For children who are not feeling well, holidays can be extra challenging as routines and daily life change. What usually makes the child feel good, like spending time with friends, attending a recreational activity, or being in school, takes a pause during the holidays. There's more time to think and feel, and at the same time, many of the important adults who are around the child and can pick up on how the child is feeling disappear,' says Magnus Jägerskog, Secretary-General at Bris.
Christmas and New Year's are holidays where there is a significant focus on alcohol. In the support line at Bris, a difference is noticeable around the days of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve when more children seek support due to adults' drinking. Some children have parents who promised that they would at least stay sober on Christmas Eve, but then break that promise. These are children accustomed to their parents drinking too much and who are already in a vulnerable situation. At the same time, Bris observes that for some children, it's about parents or other adults behaving in a way that they are not used to. A relative who got drunk or parents who otherwise don't usually drink but do so during the holidays.
'We often talk in society about adults' drinking and somewhere we all understand that it affects children, but when we hear what the children tell us in support, it becomes clear. Adults' behavior has significant consequences for children and we must continue to ensure that every child has a safe upbringing,' says Magnus Jägerskog.
More Information Bris has compiled the calls from December 21 to January 6. It is the same measurement period as previous years. The statistics are national and it is not possible to break down calls based on smaller geographic areas.
The most common reasons for contact:
Mental health – 52%
Family and family conflicts – 23%
Violence, violations, and abuse – 18%
How all conversation topics have developed during 2023 will be reported by Bris in its upcoming annual report, which will be released at the beginning of March.
Bris, Children's Rights in Society, is one of Sweden's leading children's rights organizations that fights every day for a better society for children. The popular movement Bris began in 1971 and contributed to Sweden getting the world's first ban on corporal punishment of children. Based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Bris supports children in vulnerable situations, mobilizes society for children's rights, and influences decision-makers for a society where every child is aware of their rights and where children's rights are fulfilled.