Members of the public, on Saturday, witnessed the launching of the final contestant vying for the title of Miss Dominica 2017.
Jade Romain of Gutter Village was launched at the Pottersville Savannah and is being sponsored by the National Co-operative Credit Union (NCCU).
While addressing the launching ceremony she revealed that her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a condition she continues to struggle with, hence she decided to focus her platform on mental illness.
Romain mentioned also that her mother wanted a good life for her and beseeched her to take her studies very seriously.
“I am proud to say that her efforts were not in vain,” Romain said.
According to her, despite the chronic and long-term nature of some mental disorders, with the proper treatment people suffering from mental disorders can live productive lives and be a vital part of their communities.
“Over 85 percent of people with schizophrenia can be free of relapses at the end of one year of treatment with anti-psychotic drugs combined with family intervention,” she explained. “Up to 60 percent of people with depression can recover with the proper combination of anti-depression drugs and psychotherapy…”
She noted that a lack of urgency, missinformation and competing demands is blinding policy makers from taking a stalk of a situation where mental disorders figure among the leading causes of disease and disabilities in the world.
“Currently more than 40 percent of countries have no mental health policy and over 30 percent have no mental health programme,” Romain stated.
“Around 24 percent of countries have no mental health legislation, this is why I have selected mental illness as my platform because though this issue is blatantly glaring us in the face we pointedly choose to close our eyes and pretend like it doesn’t exist or it’s not that serious.”
Romain stated further that it is not only to discuss mental illness but to work together towards improving mental health care and reducing stigmatization of the mentally ill in Dominica.
She believes that good education is a key way of creating yet a better future.
“Once you remain focus and work very hard success is possible no matter your circumstances,” she advised.
Meantime, Romain pointed out that her sponsor NCCU has played an instrumental role in molding her.
She thanked the organization for their support as well as her family and other members the Gutter Community.
Romain is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Accounting at the University of the West Indies (UWI). In the future, she hopes to become a Chief Financial Officer.
The National Queen Show is carded for February 24, 2017.