The government’s initiative is in response to recent surveys indicating demand for additional support to parents, and a deteriorating mental health situation among young people.
After the first few years of childhood, contact with healthcare services typically ends and with it, support to the parents. During teenage years only relatively few local councils offer continued support to parents.
The government initiative will offer a total of 70 million kronor ($8.4 million) to local councils with the aim of providing support to parents until their children reach the age of 18 and help to prevent the incidence of health-related and social problems.
In its latest report on Sweden’s public health, the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) warned that psychological problems are increasing among young people and women.
The number of suicide attempts by young people in Sweden has risen dramatically in recent years, the agency reports, with increasing numbers admitted to hospitals for treatment of depression and anxiety.
The government initiative is set to be popular, with a recent Synovate survey indicating that 70 percent of parents with children under 2 years are positive to the idea of additional internet-based parental support.
Six of ten are interested in more parent groups and half of the parents would like to have the chance to receive individual counselling.
The survey indicates generally, and across parents of children of all ages, a desire to increase knowledge and increase the possibilities to develop networks with other parents.