Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Kimone Rose: Miss Clarendon Festival Queen fights for mental health

Published:Friday | December 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMVanessa James/Gleaner Writer
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Kimone Rose-2018 Miss Clarendon Festival Queen has fun with the camera.
Kimone Rose- the crowned Miss Clarendon Festival Queen 2018.
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Kimone Rose, Miss Clarendon Festival Queen 2018, has been working to show why she has rightly earned the crown.

The 25-year-old is embarking on a project to fight the stigma attached to mental illness in Jamaica. To accomplish this, she is starting with the communities of Crofts Hill and Kellits in northern Clarendon, where she is from. This is also part of her role as the reigning Miss Clarendon Festival Queen.

The project is slated to be launched in January 2019, and Rose has objectives in place to achieve the ultimate goal. "The project is aimed at destigmatising mental health in Jamaica, starting with my community, Crofts Hill and Kellits. We need to foster a healthy and safe environment for discussions about mental health and promote self-care, life skills, and help-seeking behaviours. We also need to provide avenues for individuals struggling with mental illnesses to express themselves and improve relationships," Rose expressed passionately.

Members of the community and Rose's own organisation, the United Communities Association (UCA), have a hand to play in getting this project up and running in Clarendon. "I have to say thanks to all those who have been helping with this project, especially Francis Clarke, but we call her 'Miss Lyn'. She has opened up her guest house to us to do whatever it takes for the project. The launch will actually be held there at White Haven Guest House."

 

'My own demons'

 

The need to battle mental-health issues is a personal one for Rose as she has had her own struggles and has benefited from the experiences and opportunities she has had. "Jamaica already has a national campaign on mental illness, but it hasn't really impacted the rural parts of the country. I have had my own battle with anxiety and its debilitating effects. Whatever lessons I have learnt, I want to share with these individuals and give them opportunities to improve their lives to enjoy a better and healthier one," she explained.

Rose expressed how grateful she is for the platform that the Festival Queen competition has afforded her because now, she can do so much more with what she has. "I cannot be more thankful for the competition. I always knew I wanted to enter, from I used to watch the competition when I was in grade seven. I loved the fact that it was less about beauty and more about what one can bring to the table to make this country a better place. And I am starting with this project," she told The Gleaner.

In addition to these responsibilities and plans, Rose is a wedding planner who has executed many beautiful events since being established in 2016. This started with her love for weddings and the business mind that she says she got from her mother.

"The first wedding I planned was my brother's back in 2013, so I have combined my love for weddings with my gift of organising and planning, and now, I have a business. It is very hard balancing my personal life and my duties as the parish Festival Queen, but my family and close friends make up my support system. UCA also helps with putting things in place for the project launch, and though it has been difficult, I am grateful for these people in my life."

Rose went on to compete for the national Festival Queen crown, but she did not place. However, she walked away with the social-media prize. She aspires to become a leader within her community and wants to pursue a master's degree in clinical psychology with a focus on mental health.