Annemieke Gildhuis

Annemieke Gildhuis

Health, vitality and happiness for all  

‘Healthy people in a healthy world’ is what the Active Health Foundation (AHF) strives for. It sound so obvious. However, the value of health is often recognized only at the point when health is becoming an issue. To be healthy means to be in balance and to be able to act with resilience. To be resilient in order to realize change in a sustainable way, for the environment, other persons and for one’s self. Health and vitality nurse a meaningful life. As boardmember and treasurer of AHF I intend to contribute to more health, vitality and happiness for everyone.

The interconnectedness of participation, social inclusion and health

If we as society as a whole strive for a socially healthy and sustainable economy, this will contribute to our wellbeing.  In my experience wellbeing contributes undeniably to participation, ‘everybody matters’. An important activator of health and of participation is social inclusion, so ‘no one is left on the side’. That is why the AHF targets local and regional networks that enforce the social cohesion on the one hand and on the other hand contribute to health promotion by developing co-creation initiatives.

Curriculum vitae

The common element of all my jobs is the conditional meaning of health. Originally I am an educationalist and a BIG (Professions in the Individual Healthcare) registered healthcare psychologist. After my graduation I had several jobs as a HC psychologist: admission psychologist in the special education, HC psychologist at several educational consultancy agencies and teacher at the College of Orthopedagogics.  Within the counselling services I worked as competence manager. I also contributed to establish a psychodiagnostic centre and played a coaching role in education. After that a period of working in social security followed. Especially as manager of a social service I experienced the impact of unhealthy behaviour on vitality and participation, which made me realize that we should seize the opportunities that present themselves.  CS Works Employability was my next position. The coaches of CS Works  support the individual in such a way that everyone can manage his/her life, health and lifestyle. A beautiful group of coaches which is active both regionally and nationally. At this moment I am working as clerk to the council, from a system theoretical framework being significant for the individual, locally and regionally.

I am convinced of the power of awareness and positivity to help people make a choice for healthier behaviour in general.  This conviction has been very important leading up to my decision to enter the board of the Foundation.

There is still a lot left for us to do

My insight into health is that we still have a lot to do… The world around us is still centred around ‘illness thinking’ instead of ‘positive health thinking’.  A large group of people and especially those with a low SES (socio-economic status) status still have very little access to the insights of the value of health. In addition, looking from a behavioural view it is not made easy for us to make healthy choices. Just look at commercials of soft drinks, candy and fast food manufacturers; they all focus on the sense of belonging. Health People in a Healthy world requires behavior in which every person, from his one moral compass, can make his own judgements in order to contribute to health for the surrounds, the other person and himself.

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