HELP Project – Sweden

On the 20th of March, the VYG as well as volunteers from the Universal Church went out in Stockholm and Gothenburg, to place letters offering life and hope in places where suicide attempts have been common (bridges, forests, and cliffs). This initiative was carried out in compliance with local restrictions, and the timing was in order; because during the pandemic people have been becoming increasingly desperate.

In Sweden, even before the pandemic, the rate of young people with depression and who commit suicide was already very high. Due to being a cold country, where the winter climate lasts most of the year and the days are darker, it makes the country have a more reserved culture, making them grow more lonely and depressed.

One study shows that children and adolescents diagnosed with depression have a significantly higher risk of premature death, self-harm and suffering other illnesses later in life. In a group of 1.5 million young people and adolescents, more than 37,000 young Swedes have been diagnosed with depression at least once. (Sarah E. Bergen, senior researcher in the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden).

The Help Project, since its creation, has been developing several initiatives, always with the objective of helping young people with a desire for suicide, who practice self-mutilation or who suffer from depression.