Miss Teen Bolivar County Plus America 2024
Mental Health Awareness
Let me introduce myself. My name is Dorothy Gray. I’m from Mound Bayou, Mississippi,
known as the “Jewel of the Delta”. I am a contestant for The Miss Teen Mississippi Plus
America title. I am a 17-year-old attending Northside High School in Shelby, MS. I have
gone to the Mississippi Mathematics and Science School. I have participated in and
held many positions in the organizations and clubs at school. Like FCCLA, Secretary in
the Student Government Association, Drama Club, Art Editor in the Yearbook Club, Blu
Diamondz Step Team, Section Leader of the clarinets, and more. I’m also a scholar
student and have been at the top of my class. I enjoy painting, drawing, playing clarinet,
singing, hanging out with friends, and doing makeup and hair. I’m a very artistic person.
About my Platform
I am someone who suffered from depression. And I have anxiety and panic attacks. It’s
hard knowing you’re keeping everything inside, and you smile away the pain. You feel
like no one loves you and, you can’t talk to someone because you think they wouldn’t
understand. Because they think you are too young to be depressed. Or you have
everything you want or need; how can you be depressed? I’m here to tell you it’s okay
to feel that way. I used to feel that way about myself. Some of the things that caused me
to feel that were me being bullied in school because I was bigger than everyone else,
having low self-esteem, and not loving myself for who I am. I don’t know how I handled
it over so many years.. I think how I coped was music. Now, no matter how I was feeling
in the moment it would calm me and erase everything I was thinking. But that’s not a
solution; you have to open up and let someone in to help. That’s what I did I finally told
my mom about everything one day, got some help, and went to therapy. I still now today
have anxiety, but I’m getting help and starting therapy again
I don’t want teens, kids, or any adult for that matter to go through what I went
through. I want people to know that it’s okay to feel that way, but it is not okay to stay
that way. You can’t just sit there and let your life go by and miss all the exciting
moments. Getting help and healing your trauma are some of the main things that help.
Because there are over 431,000 adults in Mississippi who have a mental health
condition and 120,000 adults who have a serious mental illness. Plus, there are nearly
35,000 of Mississippi's children and youth have severe and persistent mental health
needs. That’s why I want to spread the message that mental health is important
regardless of age and that’s it okay to get help. I want us together as Mississippians to
get the help that we need!
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