Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst died on Sunday, according to New York police. The 30-year-old’s body was found in midtown Manhattan after she apparently jumped from her apartment above.
Kryst was an icon of beauty; admired by millions. His death by suicide is mourned and shocked the pageant community.
“I think it’s going to take time for all of us to really understand and come to terms with the fact that she’s no longer with us,” said Miss Connecticut USA Amanda Torchia.
Torchia said that Kryst was someone she looked up to.
“She was a leader and an advocate and someone who really inspired so many people,” Torchia added.
After being crowned in 2019, Kryst became a television personality, serving as a correspondent for the national celebrity entertainment show, “Extra.” She was also a lawyer and widely considered successful. The outward appearance, however, can be deceiving, according to some mental health experts.
“Someone may seem like a high performer, but we never know what’s going on internally unless we talk to them or they tell us,” said Dr. Linda Drozdowicz, assistant clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale University.
Drozdowicz said common risk factors for suicide are a history of mental illness, depression and anxiety, but there can also be triggers, including a major loss such as a death in the family, loss of employment or financial stress.
There are also indicators such as appearing depressed, withdrawn, or disinterested; being more anxious or restless; consuming more alcohol or drugs and changing eating and sleeping habits. There were also other signs.
“If they make suicidal statements or even do what we call preparatory acts, like writing a note or giving away their property. They are red flags, emergency warning signs,” Drozdowicz said.
If these indicators become apparent, health experts say they shouldn’t be ignored.
“It’s important for yourself and for others who care about you, that you reach out as early and as often as possible,” said Amanda Duarte, suicide prevention project manager at the Department of Mental Health. Connecticut.
The state has many resources available to those in crisis, which can be found on the state’s suicide prevention website. Other resources include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-8255. In Connecticut, people can also call 911 or 211.
Just hours before her death, Kryst posted a photo of herself on Instagram with the caption, “May this day bring you rest and peace.” Today, her peers encourage others to lend their support if they see someone in need.
“Send that text message or that phone call because you never know what capacity it’s going to have to affect them,” Torchia added.
Kryst had been an advocate for those seeking mental health support. In 2019, she posted a video on Facebook explaining how mental health was a priority for her and spoke regularly with a counsellor.