My communication skills could come in handy for organisations that work with mental health and rehahabilitation.
Over the last ten years, I have come to understand how important mental health is and how the working environment can cause a lot of strain on individuals. I started my job with a European renewable energy association in Brussels just a couple of months before the financial crash of 2009. My then employer went into liquidation a few years later after almost two years of uncertainty and before that there were organisational changes that caused stress on employees.
During my time in Brussels, I started a three-year training course to become an art-therapist, though I ended up moving to Norway after the first year and did not complete the course. I continue to be very interested in art and its ability to act as a therapeutic medium. I have yet to identify art therapy as a practice at work in Bergen. I strongly believe in the therapeutic quality of horses and wanted to get more involved in such work in Bergen, given my existing network in this area.
I signed up as a volunteer at the Red Cross in Bergen (Bergen Røde Kors) three years ago, as I wanted to make a positive contribution to my local community. I was keen to learn about how to support people in a vulnerable situation. I also wanted to be more deeply rooted in Bergen and connect with the people and language.
I found two activities within the Red Cross which fit my particular interests and skill set. I volunteer every week within the “Døråpner” programme, where I lead the climbing activity, and I also volunteer in their prison rehabilitation programme “Nettverk etter soning”. I became an indoor climbing instructor in November 2019 (find me here under “Klatreleder inne”).
In 2021, I volunteered with CRUX Kalfarhuset and supported them in their horse therapy activities for women in Bergen prison. As a keen photographer, I was in charge of taking pictures (portraits and anonymised pictures), as well as helping with the horses and reassuring participants.
I follow mental health organisations in the UK such as Mind and Mental Health Foundation. I have been to several exhibitions in London by Koestler Arts, the UK’s leading prison arts charity. I have also volunteered for Koestler Arts by submitting anonymous feedback to entrants in the Koestler Awards.
I find myself to be most suited to rehabilitation and integration work due to my life experience and personality traits. I focus on interactions with nature, animals, the arts, being physically active (riding, climbing) and active listening.