My platform is to raise awareness for mental health and to help end the stigma revolved around mental health. After going through mental health issues of mine own, this is the main reason as to why I chose this platform. In grade ten I almost lost my life due to my mental health and my mental health story helps me relate to others and to help them find a way to control their mental health. Mental health is an illness and this illness should not be invisible anymore.  Statistics show that 20% of Canadians will experience a mental health crisis at some point in their life and that suicide is the most common death for adolescent. Anxiety disorders are found in 5% of household populations. It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide. Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode. And believe it or not, I am part of all those percentages. Recently I’ve been working on a video about my story and how my mental illness has impacted my life. It will be posted up soon I promise but it takes time to open up. A bit about my story; I have always struggled with mental health, I self-harmed for about three years and I had four suicide attempts over those three years and in grade 10 I was hospitalized for my mental health. As being a survivor I want to help those who have struggled just like me because even though I will always live with mental health problems, it will never define me as a person and you can find a way to cope and find happiness and to find ways to get better. My platform means more than the world to me because I have had hard times and I’ve been in such a low state that the thought of anyone else to feel the way I did makes me sick to my stomach. I want to promote my platform as much as possible. Whether I stay Miss Teenage Coquitlam or if I become Miss Teenage Canada, the way I would promote my platform would to be to convince the government to supply more psychiatric beds in the Fraser Health region. My biggest goal set is to try and re-open RiverView Hospital which was our local mental health hospital but unfortunately closed a couple years ago. I plan to achieve these goals that I have set. Remember that you are never alone and you will beat this.

Love, melissa



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