Cheslie Kryst Spoke About Maintaining Her Mental Health After 2019 Miss USA Win

"How do you know to offer someone help if they don’t know they need the help?" Cheslie Kryst's friend Gayle King said on "CBS This Morning" following news of her death.

Following the death of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst over the weekend, those who knew and loved her are searching for answers. Kryst, who was also a civil attorney known for doing free legal work for those who may have been unjustly sentenced, was just 30 years old when she died by suicide in New York City, officials said.

Kryst left behind a note leaving everything behind to her mom, but did not mention any motive, the NYPD said.

Just hours before, Kryst wrote in what would be her last Instagram post, “May this day bring you rest and peace.” 

Her friend Gayle King, co-host of "CBS This Morning," said, “Nobody saw this coming. And this is what’s so upsetting to me. How do you know to offer someone help if they don’t know they need the help? That’s why this is hitting me so hard.”

The suicide was all the more shocking considering the importance of mental health to Kryst, which she addressed when she spoke to Inside Edition in 2019, shortly after she was crowned Miss USA: “I do a lot to make sure I maintain my mental health and the most important thing I did was talk to a counselor.” 

She also discussed her identity as a Black woman, and how important it was that she, along with Mia Franklin and Kaleigh Garris, made history when the three Black woman held the titles of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America. 

“I can’t believe it,” Kryst said in 2019. “I think it would be exciting as an onlooker, but it’s even more thrilling to be part of that trifecta.”

Kryst had five siblings and her family spoke about her “beauty and strength” in a statement after her death.

“Cheslie embodied love and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social justice, as Miss USA and as a host on Extra. But most importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague – we know her impact will live on,” they said. 

If you or anyone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website or call 1-800-273-8255.

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