Hello Bushavko Report: 307 reports of youth issues related to mental health, injury, family relationships and accessibility

Illustrative photo / Teenagers in the City Park in Skopje / Photo: EPA-EFE / GEORGI LICOVSKI

A total of 307 reports about problems with mental health, injury, family relations and accessibility, which included 379 young people last year, show the data from the annual report "Hello Bushavko" of the First Children's Embassy "Megjasi". Ten of the reports, as informed at today's presentation of the report, referred to thoughts of taking one's own life.

In the introductory speeches, Clementina Dobrevska, coordinator of the SOS telephone, explained the figures from the report, informing that during the year 2023, 619 calls were made after the received reports.

According to the age group, most of the reports concerned children aged 13 to 15, then 10 to 12, and in third place in terms of frequency of reports are children aged 7 to 9. Age not known for 212 children.

According to the living environment of the callers, the largest number of children, or 197, live in an urban environment, 33 children are covered by the reports from whistleblowers who live in a rural environment, the living environment of 149 children who are covered by the reports is unknown. The number of callers from rural areas, as in previous years, remains very small compared to the number of callers from urban areas.

Regarding the ethnicity of the callers, 230 of the total number of callers are Macedonians, 14 Roma, and 33 callers are of Albanian ethnicity. Only 2 of the contacts (reports) are from callers in other (ethnic groups) and the ethnicity of 26 people is not known.

The reasons for which they turned to "Hello Bushavko", on the other hand, refer to mental health, injury, family relations and accessibility, and in less frequent reports there are other reasons for reporting.

Within mental health, most of the reports refer to emotional distress – problems with anger, fear and anxiety, mood problems that occur as a consequence of other categories of problems reported to "Hello Bushavko".

In terms of injury, most of the reports refer to problems in the category of mental/emotional violence, physical violence and neglect (neglect).

In the section of family relations, reports refer to problems and violations of rights that fall under the category of family relations, and in relation to accessibility, several categories of problems have been covered, namely access to education, basic (essential) needs that are not available to children and problems with access to health care, legal services and socio-economic services.

According to the report, the number of reports of suicidal thoughts and suicide has increased over the past year.

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