The suicide rates in Sweden are declining, yet not among young people. In fact, each year more than 5 000 young girls and boys try to end their lives. Research shows that being able to express how you feel is one of the most crucial prevention factors. With this in mind, our task was clear; to help children put their feelings into words.
The strategy was to reach the children through their parents. We needed to teach the parents how to teach and encourage their children to express their feelings.
During May 2020, the book “Livsviktiga snack” (life-saving conversations) was distributed to 117.765 parents. A practical book that would give parents handy tips and advice on how to talk to your children to strengthen a communicative relationship that could lower the risk of suicide later in life. We also launched the website livsviktigasnack.se where you could read and order a physical copy of the book. For greater impact, we also bought media such as print ads and outdoor billboards etc. to get the message across.
The campaign was well received by the public. The parents’ reaction and earned media coverage (20 million reads) was beyond expectations and proved that this was an important initiative. The fact that 90 % of the recipients read the book is above any industry standard, and that just as many saved it after reading shows that the content was truly engaging. We also noted that 70 % have reflected over it afterwards and/or taken action, a number almost twice as high as industry standard for changed behavior – pretty amazing.
The book got legs and more and more people ordered it outside of the target group – grandparents, schools, health centers, sports clubs etc. Even other countries wanted to order it! Livsviktiga snack has given tens of thousands of children the tools to face life a little better equipped for what may come. And we plan to equip many more – as more books are being printed.