Beauty beats the blues

RE­FLECT­ING ON MEN­TAL HEALTH WEEK

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cor­lett

ELISE Naz­zari un­der­stands first­hand what it is like to live with de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.

The Bur­swood res­i­dent's men­tal health is­sues be­gan when she was 10 years old and lasted through­out her teenage years.

But com­pet­ing in the beauty pageant Miss Galaxy Aus­tralia has im­proved her con­fi­dence.

“The is­sues held me back and I ac­tu­ally had to leave school when I was in Year 10 be­cause I couldn't cope with so­cial sit­u­a­tions,” she said.

“I put pres­sure on my­self and at my worst times I thought about sui­cide; I came close to dy­ing be­cause I never felt I would be right.”

Ms Naz­zari said com­pet­ing in Miss Galaxy Aus­tralia for the first time three years ago helped her men­tal health.

“Most girls have a dream of be­ing on stage and I couldn't sing or dance, so com­pet­ing in pageants was the next best thing,” she said.

“I'll never for­get the adrenalin rush I got when I walked on stage for the first time.”

Ms Naz­zari said Men­tal Health Week was a time for self-re­flec­tion but so was ev­ery week.

“I'm the type of per­son who is prone to men­tal health is­sues be­cause I take on too much and I be­come stressed,” she said.

“I re­flect on what I went through ev­ery week and think about how the pageants have made me more con­fi­dent.”

If you or some­one you know is in cri­sis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, visit www.lifeline.org.au or call be­yond­blue on 1300 22 46 36.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d460654

Elise Naz­zari en­joys the adrenalin rush of com­pet­ing.

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