Patricia Celan, named Miss Charity seven years ago while a teen living in South Surrey, is now in postgraduate psychiatry training and was recently named Mrs. Canada International 2021. (Contributed photos)

Patricia Celan, named Miss Charity seven years ago while a teen living in South Surrey, is now in postgraduate psychiatry training and was recently named Mrs. Canada International 2021. (Contributed photos)

Domestic-violence awareness a focus for former White Rock woman named Mrs. Canada International

Patricia Celan, in postgraduate psychiatry training, earned her first crown in 2013

More than a few things have changed since Patricia Celan was named Miss Charity BC in 2013.

For one, the former White Rock resident has graduated medical school and is now a resident physician in postgraduate psychiatry training.

Second, she has a full head of hair – a stark difference to the close shave she embraced during the 2013 pageant in support of Cops for Cancer.

Third, she’s married.

And fourth, she’s now sporting a new crown – one that she hopes will do far more than add a sparkle to any appearances she makes in the coming year.

“I … decided it is time to promote a cause that I had previously been silent about, and that is domestic violence awareness and prevention,” Celan told Peace Arch News this week of why she competed for the title of Mrs. Canada International 2021.

“I grew up in an abusive home environment, which I was silent about until I helped my mom finally get divorced in 2016,” she continued.

“Since then, I have begun to feel safe speaking up about what I experienced. I want to raise awareness about domestic violence and advocate for support for victims to escape, and I hope to use my title to bring more attention to this issue.”

Currently living in Halifax, N.S., Celan grew up in New Westminster but was living in White Rock at the time of the 2013 pageant. She earned the Miss Charity B.C. crown in July of that year after raising the most – more than $8,000 – of all 38 contestants for the pageant’s charitable cause. The win spurred her to have her head shaved on stage that night.

READ MORE: Young Peninsula women shine bright at pageant

Celan said the opportunity to raise awareness around domestic violence and prevention was a driving force in her return to the pageant world after a six-year hiatus. But she also missed “the sisterhood and meeting amazing women from different backgrounds who become fast friends through pageants.”

She was named Mrs. Canada International in September, she said, following a pageant – described at mrsinternational.com as an affair “to promote today’s married women, their accomplishments, and commitment to family and marriage” – that was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Celan told PAN that the pandemic has created a unique mental-health burden.

“I know there are those who say the general collective reaction to the pandemic of grief and anxiety is normal and should not be pathologized. However, there is a distinct difference between the average person struggling with their mental health during the pandemic and that being within the normal range of reactions, versus someone having such a severe mental health crisis that they need to see a psychiatrist,” she said.

“Several of the patients that I’ve seen have found that the pandemic has caused them to relapse into illnesses that were previously in remission, such as major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, claustrophobia, alcohol use disorder, and more. These patients were doing well and were in stable condition before the pandemic caused them to become too ill to function, leading to a need for changes in psychiatric medication or needing psychotherapy.”

The pandemic has also tested Celan’s own mental health, she said, as she struggles – as many do – with the challenges of not being able to travel or visit family for fear of unknowingly spreading the coronavirus.

She said once her postgraduate training is complete, she plans to return to the West Coast and open a psychiatric clinic somewhere in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirusmental healthSurreyWhite Rock

Just Posted

A cache of 89 crabs was discovered during a 2018 compliance inspection at South Surrey’s Elgin Park Marina. (Contributed photo)
$7,500 fine for illegal crab harvest discovered in South Surrey

Laird Goddyn found guilty in Surrey Provincial Court following 2018 investigation

South Surrey’s Meridian Golf Course – a 15-acre property that also includes a residence – has been sold. (Colliers Canada photo)
South Surrey’s Meridian Golf Course sold to new owners

Deal for popular par 3 course expected to close by end of the year

Gerry Vowles (left), Michael Cook, and Dave Sinclair were awarded “Dominion Command Presidential Citations” June 17 in Cloverdale. The rare awards were given out for “exemplary service to the Legion.” (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Three B.C. legionnaires awarded ‘Presidential Citations’

Ceremony took place in Cloverdale June 17

Kaushal Parikh raised $2,840 for COVID-19 relief in India during his almost nine-hour run around the new North Delta Secondary School track on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Submitted photo)
North Delta ultramarathoner raises over $2,800 for COVID relief in India

Kaushal Parikh ran the 90-km virtual Comrades Marathon around the NDSS track in under nine hours

City of Surrey photo
Surrey starts Slow Streets pilot project

Speed limits have been reduced in six Surrey neighbourhood zones for one year to monitor impact on residents

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read