My name is Heila and I was born in Germany in 1961. As a child, I lived in Africa with my family for nearly 9 years, due to my father’s work as an agricultural engineer in developing countries.
For the last 34 years I have been living in Israel. I am divorced and have a grown-up son. My mother and sister live in Germany, my father in Ghana/Africa.
My first “About” explains the background for why I began this blog in 2013 – my son’s coping with mental health issues.
7 years have gone by since. We went through tough times but eventually things have become better. Today my son shares an apartment in supported housing with 3 young men with similar problems. All in all he is doing fine. I am grateful.
For many years I worked as a professional translator and in related positions in various companies. Then, in the wake of my son’s psychiatric hospitalization in 2011, I became more and more involved in the field of mental health. One of the first lessons I learned was that people with schizophrenia are not retarded nor are they more violent than the general population – because this was exactly how I pictured individuals suffering from schizophrenia, before I knew better. I was the typical example for a person with a stigmatizing attitude towards a specific group of people. Resulting from my lack of knowledge regarding schizophrenia, I had this image in my head that was totally out of touch with reality.
Read my post on stigma that I wrote in 2013 and which is still very relevant today : https://heilablog.com/2013/09/02/stigma-is-for-the-stupid-2/
The field of mental health is fascinating, believe me! Our mind and emotions can be so complex and the gap between how an individual behaves towards the outside and what he or she might feel or think or plan is often huge.
Since Aug. 2016 I have been working in Israel’s best psychiatric rehabilitation center for young people. It is a very special place and I love my work as a rehab guide.
My life is simple. Finally. (I myself have gone through several crises as well.) I live in a tiny rented apartment, with my two cats Milky and Caramel (MiCa), about an hour’s drive away from my son. We text a lot and every now and then we meet. We both love birds (he is the expert though) and nature. He is very smart and has a strong will. I am proud of him!
My blog content reflects my life – my doings, thoughts, and experience.
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My younger years: