The Covid-19 shutdown’s forced use of digital platforms as well as an increased pressure on the legislation regarding these platforms in Denmark, has ignited a lot of initiatives surrounding the digital life of children and teenagers.
The Danish Helpline welcomes this much needed development and has been leading the charge on many of these initiatives alongside many other organizations.
We are very pleased that we are being invited to a political discussion about equality, democracy and the digital world’s impact on the lives of children and teenagers.
As was the case in 2020, Covid-19 and the resulting national shutdown proposed a number of challenges to our work. But as the pandemic continued into its second year, we managed to return to a somewhat normal working condition.
The following efforts are where the Danish Helpline made the biggest impact in 2021.
Cooperation with municipalities is better than ever
The Danish Helpline is currently working actively with 54 out of 98 danish municipalities with a variety of different digital and pedagogical efforts and activities, all of which focuses on the well-being of children through digital media.
These efforts include – but are not limited to – our educational material, ‘Your life on the Internet’, which we have developed and provided for schools across the entire country, and netstof.dk, which provides digital guidance to youth, struggling with alcohol addiction and drugs.
It is extremely meaningful to see how our digital efforts take root and reach an increasing amount of youth as well as adults all across the country, founder of The Danish Helpline, Anni Marquard, says.
In close collaboration with the municipalities, we have worked to create synergy between our wide variety of different digital efforts in order to strengthen the municipalities local preventive efforts with the (digital) life of children and teenagers.
Our digital counseling platforms provide guidance to thousands of young people
In 2021 we had an astonishingly high amount of total visitors on our online counceling platforms, cyberhus.dk, scammed.dk, netstof.dk and gruppechat.dk. No less than 1.8 million times was a page containing heartfelt advice regarding the life of youth shown to a visitor on the site.
In 5168 cases, a young person reached out to one of our adult counselors for personal counseling through chat messages, text, and our digital mailbox. Each time they were met with thoughtful and heartfelt advice
At the same time, we saw a significant rise in our youth to youth contact, where 12 to 25 year-olds can chat anonymously with their peers in a monitored exchange. In 2021 we saw 4255 inquiries on forums and group chat sessions.
It is clear to us how important digital counseling becomes to the youth, when everything else is shut down. It was overwhelming to witness how the pandemic continued to have a massive impact on the lives of the youth, and thus we are very pleased that things are returning to a somewhat normal state.
Presentations, workshops and lectures for 13500 people
In spite of the continued covid-disturbance in 2021, The Danish Helpline delivered presentations, workshops and lectures for almost 5000 children and youth, 6000 professionals and 2500 parents across the country in a hybrid mix of physical and digital lectures.
Thematically, our presentations and lectures touch on a wide variety of subjects, all relating to digital communities and well being. These include, but are not limited to skin trading, scams, social media, gaming, ‘angry internet’ and digital relations.
Further development of the educational material, ‘Your life on the internet’
Thanks to a generous grant from Samfonden, we had the opportunity to upgrade our educational material, ‘Your life on the internet’, which is being used by schools across the country.
In 2021 the number of municipalities subscribing to the material had risen by 50 percent and by the year’s end 31 of 98 Danish municipalities were actively using the materials.
The intent of ‘Your life on the Internet’ is to improve the digital well-being of students by supplying knowledge and creating reflections and dialogue with the students about their own digital behavior – as well as the digital behavior of others.
‘Your life on the internet’ includes easily accessible visual activities, teacher guides and introductory courses targeted towards students of all ages.
It also includes workshop material targeted towards parents and professionals.