Mourning Miss USA: How To Talk About Suicide With A Loved One

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Important conversations are happening around the country and right here in our community about mental health and suicide. Those conversations are prompted by the death of Charlotte native and Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst. New York City police say she jumped from her high rise apartment Sunday. Just a few hours before her death, Kryst shared what would be her last post to Instagram, writing, “May this day bring you rest and peace.”

Kryst earned a law degree and MBA from Wake Forest and went to USC for undergrad. She was 30 years old.

Tate Ogburn is her former boss at local law firm Poyner Spruill LLP in Charlotte. He tells WCCB, “I think we should all remember her passion and her energy and her desire to do good in the community and try and emulate that.”

What should you do if you think someone in your life may be struggling with a mental health issue? Fonda Bryant of the National Alliance on Mental Health NC recommends speaking up if you are worried about a friend or loved one. She says, “If we ask someone if they’re suicidal, it brings down anxiety. Opens up conversation. Gives them a chance to express how they feel. And gives you a chance to help them.”

There are a number of warning signs you can look out for, like increased depression and anxiety, increased use of alcohol or drugs, and withdrawing and isolating.

This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB News @ Ten anchor Drew Bollea
WCCB TV’s Kaitlin Wright

If you or someone you know needs help, you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741-741 to be connected with a crisis counselor.