There is hardly any self-help for young people in Switzerland. There are now four offers against loneliness in the pandemic in Bern.
Alone is a state, but a person feels loneliness. And that feeling has increased during the pandemic. According to studies, every third person in Switzerland suffers from loneliness. Also Enea from Bern: “I know the feeling well, I know what it means to be lonely.”
Enea is not called Enea. She doesn’t want to reveal her real name. She is in her early 30s, has studied, works, is in a relationship, has a family and a dog. “At first glance you probably wouldn’t tell that I feel lonely,” says Enea.
In this pandemic year – after surviving the corona illness – her suffering has become too great, Enea describes. Then she came up with the idea of founding a self-help group for young lonely people. People between the ages of 25 and 40 are addressed, younger would also be possible.
Hardly any offers for young people
Enea looked for information on the subject and found almost nothing. No self-help against loneliness and certainly not for young adults. There are 232 self-help groups in the canton of Bern. Only three are aimed at young people. After all, four new ones are now being created with the support of the Bern Self-Help Association. One of them is that of Enea.
The ratio is similar across Switzerland: Self-help Switzerland counts 2700 groups. 39 of these are explicitly aimed at young people. Younger people are difficult to reach, reports Self-Help Switzerland. This could be due to the fact that most of the self-help groups deal with diseases that only increase after a certain age.
But it is up to us to strengthen the young self-help, says Daniela Baumgartner from Self-Help in Bern. “That is also one of the reasons why the national project ‘Young Self-Help Group’ has existed since 2019. The working group meets regularly and looks at what offers are needed to motivate the boys to help themselves. “
Fear of stigma
The fact that there are only a few offers for young people in Switzerland has to do with the fact that young people are more concerned with the fear of stigmatization than older people, said Baumgartner. She also see it that way, says Enea: “Seeking help is something that is stigmatized” and maybe your group helps to reduce fears and feelings of shame about self-help.
Seven people in Enea’s group have already met for the first time, virtually due to the corona. This is a start – against loneliness and for more young people to help themselves in Switzerland, says Enea.
Here you can find help during the Corona period
Corona concerns us all. You can find one below List of hotlines and advice rund a Corona.
BAG Infoline Coronavirus, Link opens in a new window: 058 463 00 00 (daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
BAG Infoline Corona-Impfung, Link opens in a new window: 058 377 88 92 (daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
Dureschnufe, Link opens in a new window: Platform for mental health around the new coronavirus
Anxiety and panic relief Switzerland, Link opens in a new window, Hotline: 0848 801 109 (10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
Parents emergency call Switzerland, Link opens in a new window, Hotline: 0848 35 45 55 (24×7)
the youth have, Link opens in a new window, Hotline for children and adolescents: 147 (24×7)
Swiss worry phone, Link opens in a new window: 143 (24×7)
Addiction Help Switzerland, Link opens in a new window: Hotline for young people in lockdown 0800 104 104 (Tue.-Thu. 9am to 12pm)
Branchenhilfe.ch, Link opens in a new window: Advice portal for industries affected by corona