Hi Loves! Can I just start off with a HUGE apology for my lack of posts. Life has been crazy busy as I prepare for Miss Teenage Canada and live my day to day life. I finally got a chance to blog again, and today’s blog is about something very important to me – my platform.

My platform is similar to that of many other delegates: mental health awareness. Some people may wonder why I didn’t choose something less popular or common, but the answer to that is simply that I didn’t feel the same passion towards anything else. And no, I don’t mind that other girls have similar platforms – it’s actually the exact opposite! It’s so great to hear that more people are getting involved, standing up, and making a difference.

The Why

I chose this as my platform because it is something very close to my heart. Although you may not realize it (because not many talk about it), chances are you all know somebody suffering from mental health illness. It may seem that mental health problems are something that only a few rare and “broken” people have, but that’s just not true! Mental health can affect anyone and approximately 20-25% of Canadians will personally experience mental illness in their lifetime.

*used with owner's permission*

*used with owner’s permission*

I know from personal experience that a mental health struggle is exhausting for both the individual and their loved ones. As an individual, you may feel damaged or alone. As a family member or friend, you may be worried or feel helpless. These are feelings that nobody deserves to go through and I want to change that.

The Meaning

Why do I want to eradicate the stigma around mental health? Because it’s tough enough for youth dealing with mental illness without the fear that they are being judged by those around them. In the past, people believed mental illness was only a problem for those who were crazy and never thought of it to be something that could affect their own family. To me, mental health awareness means making people aware of what it really means and what we can do to support one another.

The Future

The ultimate success would be achieving my platform goal – eradicating all the stigma that currently exists against mental health. Unfortunately, that will take an exceptionally long time and even so may never happen. Instead, I will gladly settle for a major improvement. Even better, I would love to be able to personally make a difference with the title of Miss Teenage Canada! If I were to win MTC, I would use my title to help promote mental health in a positive light. Social media would be a great tool in this case, and as I build my follower base I can share more information in regards to my platform.

*used with permission*

*used with permission*

Finally, I would love to continue to participate in mental health awareness days such as Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 1 to 7), Pink Shirt Day (February 25), International Self-Care Day (July 24), World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 4 to 10), and many more. Participation in these events may not seem like a lot, but it can be a quite significant contribution when you combine it with media and other tools.

Mental health awareness is dear to my heart and something I will continue to pursue regardless of title or not. It’s important for us to all work together, and I can’t wait to see where the world will end up in the future 🙂

LOL (Lots of Love!),

Cristina

P.S. Check back in a couple of hours for a last minute blog before I head off to nationals!!!

Written by: Cristina Tagged with:, , , , ,

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