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CRIME

Eminent Swedish psychiatrist killed in Almedalen knife attack

The Swedish psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren was named on Wednesday evening as the victim of the knife attack at the Almedalen political festival.

Eminent Swedish psychiatrist killed in Almedalen knife attack
Ing-Marie Wieselgren, photographed in Stockholm. Photo: Simon Rehnström / SvD / TT

Wieselgren, 64, worked as National Coordinator for Psychiatry at The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKR), and was stabbed in the chest on Wednesday at 2pm as she was on the way to a seminar on children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD and Autism. 

She was given CPR until an ambulance arrived, and taken to the Visby hospital, but died shortly afterwards. 

Wieselgren had worked throughout her life to communicate with the public on mental health and psychiatric issues, contributing several times to the Thought of the Day slot on Swedish state broadcast SR, and recording videos on YouTube.  

Hours before her death, she recorded and published a video clip in which she said, “However well we do in building our society, some people will have difficulties. Sometimes life is not so simple, it is not so nice to us”. 

Wieselgren’s death was officially confirmed in a press release from the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions on Thursday morning. 

“SKR has lost an appreciated and much-loved employee, her colleagues have lost a good friend, and Sweden as a whole has lost one of the strongest voices for psychiatric health and psychiatric care,” said the organisation’s chief executive Steffan Isling. “She was a strong voice for those who are otherwise not heard in the national debate.”

Sweden’s health minister, Lena Hallengren, said in a statement on Twitter that Wieselgren had been for her “an important source of knowledge and inspiration in the work against psychiatric ill-health.” 

“The message that Ing-Marie Wieselgren has died in this horrific attack in Visby has left me in dismay,” she said. 

According to the Sweden’s Expressen and Aftonbladet tabloid, the 33-year-old attacker, who is being held on suspicion of murder, has links to the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), and had expressed support for the far-Right Alternative for Sweden party. 

According to the anti-extremist magazine Expo, the man signed up for so-called “support membership” of NMR in 2015, and wrote several articles for the organisation’s Nordfront newspaper. 

He also took part in at least four of the organisations demonstrations between 2017 and 2018, after which it is unclear if he was still actively engaged. 

According to Expo, the man attended the Almedalen festival in 2014, at which he wore a Sweden Democrat t-shirt, but he told a representative for the neo-Nazi Svenskarnas party, that he also supported them. 

“I sympathise with the Sweden Democrats, but I also support you,” he said, the magazine reported. “You are the spearhead of the nationalist movement.”

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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