A new website for Swiss children and teenagers with alcoholic parents was launched in Bern this week in a novel attempt to deal with the problem.
The website has been created by Addiction Info Switzerland, which says children with alcoholic parents are six times more likely to develop an addition themselves when they grow up.
The website – available in German and French – provides a moderated discussion forum for children between 8 and 12 and a separate one for teenagers aged 13-20 to address their fears and give tips on how to deal with the abuse.
Named “Mamanboit.ch” and “Papaboit.ch,” (or mamatrinkt.ch and papatrinkt.ch) the website is the first of its kind in Switzerland and aims to reach children whose alcoholic parent is not ready to accept help.
“Often, it’s especially these kids who need more help. Thanks to the forum, they will have the chance to talk directly to each other and share experiences anonymously,” Marion Forel, the site founder, told a news conference.
The group said thousands young people in Switzerland live with an alcoholic parent. They are likely to experience fear, loneliness, anger, anxiety and even guilt, because in most cases, drinking abuse is considered a taboo in the family and it’s not openly discussed.
The platform includes FAQs, testimonials and tips, while experts will also take part in the forum discussions.