Heal Together: Beauty pageant winner Kenei Ritse launches project to promote mental health

Phek: Ritse says her desire to champion social causes motivated her to venture into pageantry

BY | Monday, 18 September, 2023

In an effort to create awareness about mental health and to remove the stigma around it in the society, BASN Miss Nagaland 2022 1st Runner-up Kenei Ritse has initiated “Heal Together”, a BWAP ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ project. Ritse is also Miss Phek 2022 and SVEEP Election Icon for Phek district.

In its first event, “Heal Together”, in collaboration with BASN, Pfütsero Government College (Anti-sexual harrasment cell) and Tetso College, organised a three-day campaign on mental health awareness in Pfutsero Town from 14th to 16th September 2023 at the Pioneers Complex Conference Hall, CBCC.

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The program covered a diverse range of topics, including self-esteem and well-being, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, the perils of digital addiction, substance abuse awareness, as well as clinical sessions addressing depression and mindfulness. The resource persons were from Tetso College’s Department of Psychology, Assistant Professors Dr Nouzhienino Peseyie and Gurumayum Melody Sharma. Kilentola Jamir, a holistic counselor and human development facilitator too lent her valuable insights and support.

The campaign drew around 200 youths from various educational institutions and churches, and community leaders who all actively engaged in the discussions.

In her address, Kenei Ritse, a psychology student, said that her “deep-seated desire to champion social causes, particularly the pressing issue of mental health” motivated her to venture into the world of pageantry. She mentioned that she occasionally doubts her own “readiness” to undertake the “Heal Together” project but maintained that she “steadfastly maintained that one need not amass extensive experience or certifications to make a positive impact.” All that is requires is a big heart, she added.

Ritse also “heartwarming unity of the entire community” and her team ‘Team Afti’ for transforming her vision into a reality.

“Afti” is derived from a Greek word that means “ear”, conveying that Team Afti “is an ear that will listen to the untold stories of the individuals facing different mental health challenges regardless of the position they hold in the society.”

Earlier, Dr Vepfuhu Kezo, the Medical Officer, Pfutsero inaugurated the “Heal Together”, while the closing ceremony was graced by Maj Aditya Shankar, Company Commander, Assam Rifles Base, Pfütsero.

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