I will probably never grow tired of getting involved in society and expanding my network. If you just sit at home, you will not get anything given to you. Besides my work, I sit on the school board, participate in the municipality's integration council and then I interpret from Bosnian to Danish and Danish to Bosnian.
If I had stayed in Bosnia, I would probably have lived in a small rural town, and probably not got as far as I have now. Down there you are more of a housewife, but I like to be active. When opportunities arise, I try to grab them. That I have got to where I am is probably due to a mixture of my personality and the opportunities that the society gives you. I don’t understand the people who only live off the public purse.
Through my interpreting work I have met many refugees and many aspects of the municipal system, and I must admit that I have also experienced many misconceptions. For example, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is widespread among refugees, but I have experienced psychologists who put words in the mouth of people, instead of letting them tell about it themselves. You have to be careful how you talk to people, especially if you make decisions and give diagnoses. It can make people sicker than they are.
Often people have said it is as if they have talked to a psychologist when I have spoken to them. But the only thing I do is to draw attention to the possibilities. Just get out of the flat and get started is my best advice.
Senada Mehic / 44 / female / children / administrative coordinator at the health service / from Bosnia-Herzegovina / came to Denmark in 1993 / asylum in 1995