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July 06, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Miss World Fiji will support mental health for the next 5 years as part of its ‘beauty with a purpose’ campaigns.

Miss World Fiji 2012 Koini Elesi Vakaloloma will highlight the importance of Mental Health as part of her ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ Video Presentation during the 62nd Miss World finals in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China from the July 18 to August 18.

In a 5 year campaign to build respite centres under the ‘beauty with a purpose’ projects, the campaign will cater for the need of neglected mental health patients, homeless citizens, gender issue cases and sex workers by providing a safe house to allow individuals to take a break from the stress and stigma of our society and to provide more support in terms of professional counseling and medication monitoring.

The Miss World’s Beauty with Purpose presentations will make up 80 per cent of the overall selection as to who gets to win the overall Miss World title.

It will highlight aspects of the struggles of mental health associated with depression, attempted suicides and gender issues, three major contributing factors to individuals that suffer from a Mental Health disorder.

'Stop the stigma against mental illness and promote mental health because there is no health without mental health' is the motto in which Vakaloloma will advocate on while at Miss World.

Fiji has one of the highest rates of suicide in the South Pacific and with an increase in mental health.

Vakaloloma hopes that her presentation will capture the attention of the world including Fiji with more people playing advocacy roles to support our struggling mental health systems.

In Fiji, statement said some patients are turned away from St Giles mental health hospital with lack of proper medications, the danger being the relapse of suffering a more severe case of mental illness that could easily end in suicide.

A handful of patients are often stigmatized by family and resort to living on the streets in our capital including other urban and rural centres in Fiji.

National Director for Miss World Fiji, Andhy Blake is also supporting the platform of raising awareness on mental health issues and agrees that more advocacies is needed in Fiji to educate people on the importance of mental health.

Castings for the 2013 event will commence in September and one of the strict requirements this year is the individual charity projects taken up by each of the selected finalists prior to the coronation in April 2013.

By Ropate Valemei

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