Online counselling – What is Cyberhus.dk?
In short, Cyberhus is a non-profit online counselling for children and young people where they are able to meet peers in a safe environment, or receive counselling via chat and problem pages from professional adults coming from social working backgrounds.
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Cyberhus is also Centre for Digital Youth Care’s (CfDP) largest project, comprising one full-time employee, 70 volunteers, and more than 40,000 unique visitors a month. Cyberhus is one of the pillars of CfDP and contributes to CfDP’s knowledge base through valuable experiences of digital pedagogy in practice. Cyberhus opened their doors to children and young people in May 2004. Ever since, the number of visitors have grown steadily, and today Cyberhus has developed into a well-established digital platform, recognised and popular among a large group of children and young people throughout this country.
Our digital pedagogical offers can be divided into categories of ‘youth-to-adult’ and ‘youth-to-youth’. Here, you can read more about our visitor numbers of 2013 and learn more about the scope of our counselling sessions.
In 2013, Cyberhus.dk had 440,000 unique visitors; so on average, 1,200 children and young people visited our online club house every day. Even though most of these young people by far “just” choose to sit in and learn from other people’s experiences, during 2013 several thousand children and young people wrote in for help and guidance. We completed approximately 2,000 chat sessions, and answered around 1,500 questions on our problem pages. Since questions and answers on our problem pages are publicly available, these particularly benefit other young people.
Aside from our many requests to adult counsellors, children and young people can also interact with each other through a vast number of youth-to-youth features which are always monitored by professional adults, so our young people are never left alone. At Cyberhus, young people can meet in our debate forum, on our life-stories page, chat rooms, blogs, image workshop, and on our sharing-of body-secrets page. We registered a total number of 3,800 interactions (posts and comments) in our youth-to-youth section in 2013. Today, our debate forum is the quickest growing feature on Cyberhus.dk.
Cyberhus is managed by digital child and youth worker, and deputy manager of Center for Digital Youth Care, Niels-Christian Bilenberg, and additionally Cyberhus employs three pedagogical coordinators part-time.
You can visit Cyberhus directly from this link.
Collaboration with other counsellings and established treatments
Cyberhus has taken the initiative to establish a problem pages collaboration with: Center for rape victims in Aarhus, Youth outreach in Aarhus, and Public Health of Copenhagen. The problem pages collaboration means that children and young people, using cyberhus.dk’s problem pages, are able to get in touch directly with specific counsellings and offers of treatment. This way, Cyberhus contributes to building a bridge between online counselling and IRL help and treatment. Cyberhus wishes to continually develop on these collaborations.
National counselling network
The network group meets 2-3 times a year and focus on professional and ethical discussions of issues that arise in the day-to-day consultative work. The organisations benefit from each other as professional sparring partners with the intention to secure their professional quality in their individual counselling.
Insafe – A European collaboration
Cyberhus is part of Insafe – a European collaboration between 26 countries. Insafe is coordinated by The European Schoolnet and is supported by the European Commission via their ‘Safer Internet Programme’. Insafe is dedicated to creating attention around internet safety, and heightening an awareness in particularly children and young people concerning safe and effective use of the internet. Thus, the network’s mission is providing children and young people all over Europe with skills to enhance their well-being online.
Insafe facilitates two conferences annually where collaborating countries meet and discuss relevant subjects regarding children and young people’s activities online. Cyberhus is part of Insafe’s steering group, and helps plan and develop the professional content at the conferences.
Cyberhus is an official Danish helpline
September 1st 2009, Cyberhus was appointed official ‘Helpline’, governed by the EU-based ‘Safer Internet Plus Programme.’ The appointment means that Cyberhus commit themselves to service Danish children, young people, and parents, should they have questions about safe internet usage. With the appointment, Cyberhus is the official Danish beneficiary in this field. Cyberhus collaborates with The Media Council for Children and Young People in Denmark, which operates as a knowledge center, and Save the Children Denmark, which is responsible for an official ‘Hotline.’
Young people aged 9-23 who meet challenges that they wish to share with others. For example; thoughts of suicide, eating disorders, cutting, sexual abuse/incest, sexuality, sadness, bullying, and heartache.
The purpose of the project
The purpose of Cyberhus is listening and talking to, and helping, vulnerable children and young people via the internet. Early prevention is paramount. We refer to the analogue world – the cell phone connects wirelessly to services online.
Cyberhus aims to be the preferred online socio-educational clubhouse for vulnerable children and young people.
Based on voluntary and non-profit work, it is our mission to rethink the way we meet, and enter into dialogue, with children and young people. We do this by innovating the use of internet based counselling and activities, as counsellors, and involving and developing children and young people on their own terms.
Chat-counselling, digital pedagogy, young-to-young counselling. Help when needed – 24/7. Responsive platform.