Odin, 13, committed suicide in Oslo because nobody stopped him from being bullied. His mum tried everything but it wasn’t enough.
Now Odin’s mum is calling everyone to be responsible, she asks you not to be a quiet by-stander but to act. She asks if you have talked to your children about what bullying is, if you have talked to them about what they can/ should do if they see or experience it. (To read the whole story of Odin published by Verdens Gang in Norvegian, please go here )
Let’s honour Odin, his mum and all with the same experience, and do what we can to prevent this from happening again and again. We do not want our children to experience this nor to live with the guilt of a by-stander who didn’t know what to do. Nor do we want our children to think it is ok to “just tease”.
We can’t always be present, and sometimes we hear things we don’t know what to do with. Here is a start:
- In Finland, if a child is distressed, they can call the number 116 111 for free Mon-Fri 2pm-8pm and on weekends 5 pm tp 8 pm. The phone line is answered by volunteers that have been trained by MLL (Mannerheimin Lasten suojeluliitto/ Mannerheim League for Child Welfare), and they listen as well as suggest what children can do and who they can contact in there immediate surrounding for more help.
- In a situation of distress the child or somebody close to the child can also call the crisis number 01019 5202 in Finland on weekdays 9am-7am and weekends as well as holidays 3pm-7am. This phone number is maintained by the Finnish Association for Mental Health and the number is answered by professional crisis workers or trained volunteers. The aim is to have a number to call anonymously in a stressful situation, often already being able to talk about it in a supportive environment helps. This number will cost you as much as your phone provider normally charges you but there is no cost for the crisis counselling.
Of course, none of the phone lines are helpful, if we don’t take calls for help in our physical environment seriously. What can you do?
A couple other phone numbers good to know: