Most helplines get more calls during the holiday season, but the Bris organisation, which helps children, says they actually have fewer staff working Christmas.
“It’s the same pattern on late evenings and weekends all year round. You’re often talking with someone who says they have to stop talking as their mother is coming home,” says Ida Jansson, who works on the Bris telephone lines.
More children call before or after Christmas. They are worried their family cannot afford to celebrate Christmas, or about their parents drinking.
“Children take quite a lot of responsibility for everyone having fun during Christmas,” says Ida Johansson. She says they try to avoid talking about presents they know they will not get, and can try to hide the alcohol.
Nowadays only one in five contacts to Bris are voice calls. Children mostly chat by text or email from their smartphones.