'It's a great platform': Miss Universe Canada finalist from Lethbridge advocates for mental health awareness

Miss Universe Canada is a national pageant in its 18th year that sees dozens of Canadian women compete to represent their country on an international scale at Miss Universe later in the year.

According to the pageant’s website, 42 finalists from across Canada will be competing on Oct. 24 at the John Bassett Theatre in Toronto.

Of those, 10 are from Alberta — two of whom are from Lethbridge.

Tavleen Singh was born in Brampton, Ont., but moved to Lethbridge when she was three. She recently moved to British Columbia but credits the southern Alberta community as part of her key to success.

“I’m just really grateful to take part, and I believe Lethbridge has offered me so much,” Singh explained Saturday. “It’s a great platform for us women to help build leadership and confidence, and so I just wanted to get involved to raise awareness for mental health.”

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She hopes to use her platform at the pageant to spread awareness about the importance of taking care of emotional well-being, especially during the pandemic.

“It’s important to know that online therapy is now available,” Singh said. “I cannot emphasize that this is a time where it is very uncertain and it’s very important to keep raising awareness.”

Currently in the process of becoming a licensed psychologist, Singh plans to focus on obtaining her PhD after the pageant. As well, she will be publishing her first book, entitled “Opportunity Cost,” in the new year.

She said she’s excited to experience a socially distanced pageant and take time to learn from the other contestants about their advocacy.

Along with Singh, Jaime VandenBerg of Lethbridge is also set to compete at the event.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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