The Miss Gauteng Exclusive pageant has announced that it will be using the platform to raise awareness on mental health issues, including social anxiety / social awkwardness, addictions, substance abuse (Nyaope), bipolar, schizophrenia, eating disorders, the risk and influencing factors, self-harming behaviour and suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, postpartum depression, not dealing with childhood trauma and depression, amongst others.
The#pageantwithapurpose campaign seeks to educate the public in order to reduce stigmas and discrimination on people who suffer with mental health issues.
This initiative, now in its second year running, mentors the Top 25 finalists selected from 100 young ladies across province, to be psychologically, socially and economically empowered by providing them with opportunities to transform local communities within Gauteng.
Annwen Jordan co-MD of the pageant says “Knowing what to say or what we can do to help is not always clear but talking about mental health can give us freedom to seek help, find people who can relate, and move toward well-being.”
Each of the finalists were tasked with researching the causes and effects of a particular mental health disorder, following which an emotive photo shoot took place for them to embody what it would feel like to struggle with these after understanding it better.
The campaign concluded with the ladies using their images on their social media platforms to highlight what they have learnt and offer support to the South African public.
“Let’s raise our voices! Together, we can make a difference in reducing the stigma surrounding issues many of us face. You are not alone,” Jordan concludes.