What they do …

2. Anoeska

Today it’s time to let Anoeska do the ‘talking’. She is part of the Husband’s family (so also my family now 🙂 ) and used to come over every once in a while to give us a much needed haircut and to have some tea and chat. I got to know her as a very kind person who can work very hard and I’m sure she will conquer the world one day. Moreover, she also makes the world a better place in her own way. Below, she tells you a bit more about that!

NB. Anoeska wrote her letter in Dutch, so this is a translation I made (with some much needed help from awesome Tirza).

“Hi everyone,
Let me first introduce myself. I’m Anoeska and I am currently studying Applied Psychology. It’s been a few years since I quit my job and became a student again. For me, this has been my most memorable trip so far, since this education gives me the opportunity to do what I like doing most: helping people who, for some reason, are, at one point stuck in their lives.
post-anoeska-inpostBut, while finally being able to do what I’m passionate about, I kept running into what I’d like to call the ‘I’m fine, I’m always fine’-mentality. Apparently, we massively keep quiet about our psychological state, while 42.7 percent of the Dutch population has to deal with psychological problems at least once in their lives. It’s shocking to me that such a big stigma (still) exists. Talking about it helps, but how can we talk about our psychological issues with that stigma hanging over our heads?
That’s why a couple years ago I decided to volunteer as a group leader at a game called ‘Een Steekje Los’. This is an educational and accessible game where difficult topics such as mental health problems are discussed. Doing this, turned out to be a huge learning opportunity for myself. By really listening to someone, you can actually make a difference in someone’s life. Besides that, the game showed me, and shows everybody who participates, that we’re not the only ones running into problems. At the same time, we learn from each other’s experiences: how did he manage to overcome his burnout?

Difficult subjects can be fun to discuss!

Unfortunately, as I got busier with my studies, I had less and less time to be a game leader for ‘Een Steekje Los’. That doesn’t mean I don’t do anything for a better world. At the moment, I’m helping the GGZ [Dutch public health care organization] by giving sex education to teenagers and young adults; a subject that’s also taboo. Besides giving information, I try to teach them that being open about sexuality is important. During these information sessions we talk about different topics within this theme, like sexual diversity and how to set your boundaries. Just as with ‘Een Steekje Los’ this is done in an approachable way and we laugh a lot. Difficult subjects can be fun to discuss!

We are not alone and by sharing experiences, we can help each other.

Besides those activities, my own blog launched this week with which I hope to pursue a similar idea: I’ll use a light-hearted way to get a conversation going and to show that there are several people walking around this planet with similar questions or problems. Also, I will give you more insight and tips to cope with certain problems. We are not alone and by sharing experiences, we can help each other. Isn’t it great that you can make a difference in someone’s life? We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. By actually just talking, we can all learn so much more, about the other person, but also about ourselves.