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Mental health experts weigh in following the tragic death of Cheslie Kryst

Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 winner of the Miss USA pageant and a correspondent for the...
Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 winner of the Miss USA pageant and a correspondent for the entertainment news program “Extra,” has died at age 30.
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 7:37 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A heartbreaking story is sparking meaningful conversations about mental health.

Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst jumped to her death in New York City Sunday morning. She was just 30-years-old.

Her death was a shock to everyone who believed she had it all. Therapists say it’s hard to tell when people are struggling, but there are some things we can do.

“When I heard the news, it was shocking because it just proves that mental health, mental illness, anxiety, depression, stress, doesn’t have a face,” owner of 1st Choice Counseling Mental Health Brehonda Lewis-Cuff said.

“Although someone can attain high position and success, that does not exempt them from mental health issues,” said Jasmine McLaughlin, a licensed clinical social worker and Founder of Empowered to Thrive Counseling and Wellness.

Chelsie Kryst was a successful attorney, entertainment host, and former Miss USA. It was a very sobering reminder that mental health struggles do not discriminate.

“We look at people who are in the limelight, we assume that they are in a better place than we are, but in actuality, they too have even more stress than we,” Lewis-Cuff said.

Lewis-Cuff says one of the toughest challenges for those suffering is reaching out and seeking help. Often, it’s hard to tell the signs.

“Sometimes you see that people will isolate more or don’t return calls or don’t return texts. You may see people drinking more; you may see people just not being their true self,” Lewis Cuff said.

“In Cheslie’s case, add to that being a woman of color, a member of a racial minority group, dealing with microaggressions, all of these factors, being in the public eye,” McLaughlin said. “I think all of that is kind of the perfect storm.”

She says other than seeking counseling, unplugging, avoiding isolation, and finding a routine can help those struggling with anxiety and depression.

She urges people to check in with all their friends to ask how they’re really doing beyond the surface level.

Taking care of your mental health also means taking care of your body. That’s making sure you’re eating enough, drinking water, getting enough sleep, and not overdoing it with alcohol.

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Help is available 24 hours.

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