Billede af Kelly Sikkema


Whenever we use the words “well-being”, “mental health” and “liveability” it represents elements of the terminology from the Danish word “trivsel”. This little word with so many meanings has been the center pillar of our entire project. “Trivsel” comes from the nordic old language, with a double meaning of happiness and well-being, and is often being used as a way to explain the aliveness of something. It could be described as “the feeling of being well as an individual with a surplus, drive, power to act and enjoy life”.

If we zoom in on the mental health aspect of well-being WHO has defined it as such:

Mental health is defined as 

1) a state of well-being in which 

2) every individual realizes his or her own potential, 

3) can cope with the normal stresses of life, 

4) can work productively and fruitfully, and 

5) is able to make a contribution to her or his community’

There are many socio-cultural and economic layers embedded in “trivsel”. An example is that the current definition  of well-being mainly concerns those who are standing on the edge of society. However, experts and scientists are debating the expansion of the terminology to include other social groups. Especially mental health illnesses can easily be recognized in and diagnosed amongst teenagers and young adults. Trivsel ultimately became a broad term used to understand the well-being and liveability of everyone in society. 

The complexity in working with trivsel is that it’s experienced individually - in that way difficult to measure - and rooted in the interconnection between people - means that we all have a piece of others lives in our hands.