We Must Talk about Black Mental Health
Black Americans and Suicide
It was announced today that former Miss USA 2019, Cheslie Kryst, has died at the age of 30. Young, beautiful, and an entrepreneur, Ms. Kryst was very active on social media platforms, such as Instagram and Tik Tok. It was on Instagram that Kryst made her final post on her Instagram page.
It was reported by several news outlets that Kryst had jumped from the 29th floor of her New York City apartment building. Kryst lived on the 9th floor of the building. Her body was found in a snow pile. The reason for the apparent suicide is unknown.
I had been following Kryst on Tik Tok. I had recently viewed a post where Kryst gave a tour of the many closets in her apartment. She also posted a video of her displaying a golden snitch, an object used in the games of Quidditch in the Harry Potter world. Kryst stated she was a Harry Potter fan, shouted out the Harry Potter store in NYC, and that she was a Ravenclaw.
It shook me to the core that this young woman took her own life. Why?! What was going on behind her posts that led Kryst to end it all? On the surface, she had everything going for her — a former Miss USA, a journalist for an entertainment news show, and a growing online business. On one of her Tik Tok videos, Kryst had displayed some of the items she received from companies that she had worked with. None of her videos showed any signs of distress or struggle.
I guess we will never know. The investigation is still ongoing but there doesn’t appear to be a suicide note left behind. I can only imagine what her family is going through at this time. To lose a loved one in such a way is a hard pill to swallow. So many questions. So much grief.
A couple of weeks ago, Regina King lost her only son to suicide. The young man, in his 20s, also had a lot going for him. His mother, a famous actress, and director adored her son. I’m sure his passing cuts deep. It definitely made me hug my own son tighter.
In a country where white supremacy is gaining traction in many states, voting rights for people of color are in jeopardy, and many Republicans preventing the teaching of racial issues in the classroom, Black Americans are under attack. It is bad enough that we go through the daily struggle of being Black in America, but now it seems the pressure is increasing. It can lead to many of us cracking from the pressure.
But there is help, there is a suicide prevention hotline and website —
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741–741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Please seek help from friends, family, or a therapist. Know that you are not only. Do not end your life, get help. Suicide is not the way. The pain never ends for those left behind.