What is a Role Model? Not too long ago, we decided that it wasn't enough to cast fashion models based on height and comp cards. We wanted to showcase the stories of real people, who are brave enough to wear their label. Chloë is one of those Role Models.
WYL: First things first- can you tell us a bit about yourself?
CC: My name is Chloë Chapdelaine. I am an outgoing 18 year old, and like to consider myself a passionate dream chaser. Recently, I competed in my first pageant and won, titling me Miss Teenage Alberta 2016. I will be competing this July in Toronto for nationals, hoping for the Miss Teenage Canada title.I am passionate about mental health and reducing the negative stigma, as well as reducing the negative stigma around those who are less fortunate in regards to having food. When not soaking up some rays or volunteering my time, you'll find me coaching swimming or lifeguarding at the local pools.
WYL: What is your connection to mental health?
CC: When I was 15 years old, new to high school, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. This was a very scary and daunting diagnosis to someone who is new to a school and I was trying to make friends. After experimenting with many different medications to control my seizures, I finally found one that did the job. However, along the journey, due to my situation and drug interactions, I developed some serious mental health problems. I developed severe anxiety and depression, as well as an eating disorder.
WYL: How did you overcome your struggle with mental health?
CC: I seeked help through my school councillor, who referred me to some professionals in who helped me every day in coming up with strategies to get well. I found that writing was a great out for me, and pursued poetry and writing, becoming an internationally published author. Today I am healthy and happy.
WYL: What would you tell someone who might be going through something similar to what you experienced?
CC: If I had to talk to someone going through similar situations, I'd let them know to hold on. Although life may be crappy now, I can PROMISE you, that it will get better, and there is always room for it to improve, as long as they can tough out the hard part. You are in control of what you say, do, think, and feel, and only you are in control of it, so take charge and change your life for the better at every opportunity. You can do this, hang in there.
WYL: If you could describe your mental health struggle in one word what would it be?
CC: If I had to describe my mental healthy journey in one word, it would be: Transformation.
Photos: Rachel Renner Photography