1 year since former Miss USA’s death serves as reminder to check on your friends

PEORIA (25 News Now) – Whether it’s the pandemic, social media, or videos of law enforcement violence circulating on your feeds, the conversation about mental health awareness is increasing and with it the resources to help.

A year ago, former Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst committed suicide.

Her death sparked a nationwide conversation about checking on the friends, who seem to have it all.

Locally in central Illinois there are many resources for someone dealing with a mental health crisis.

Former president of the tri-county chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness, Beth Lawrence, says there are some telltale signs loved ones can look for “to talk, write, or draw about death.” Speaking of having no will to live. to be a burden to others. not be here tomorrow. Look for ways to attempt suicide. Feeling hopelessly desperate or trapped. Giving away possessions or behaving recklessly.”

Both UnityPoint and OSF Healthcare in Illinois offer behavior and mental health resources.

UnityPoint’s UnityPlace has one of the region’s first mobile crisis response units.

Bernie Butler, MA, Assistant Manager for Crisis Services at UnityPlace says, “We can respond soon after the crisis. We can usually answer the call within 30 minutes to be with you and speak to you.”

The unit can come to the person in crisis and help find solutions or connect them with resources such as therapists and counselors.

“What they may have tried in the past. What things might have been helpful in the past, what things might be helpful in the future, and we’re trying to recommend people accessing the services they need while we’re there, we’re offering some advice while we’re there.” explains Butler.

Current NAMI Tri-County President Flolanda James says that reaching out shows strength, “it actually makes you stronger. It actually says so much about you that you value your life and those around you and are a part of your life. If anything happened to you, they would be devastated. your life matters It is often like that. Your life is important and they don’t see it when they’re in these spaces.”

For those whose friends or loved ones are in the midst of a mental health crisis, Lawrence says they should speak up despite the risk to the relationship: “Don’t let suicide warning signs remain secret. This is a situation where a friend says, “Don’t tell anyone.” It’s probably better to tell someone. It’s better to lose this friendship temporarily and you’ll probably regain it in the future, but it’s not something to keep secret.

Experts say the most important thing is to get help.

There are plenty of local resources and consultants in the area, many of whom are currently accepting new clients.

The phone number for UnityPlace in Tazewell County for assistance is (309) 671-8084.

In Woodford County, this number is (309) 347-1148.

The 988 National Suicide landline number also connects people in crisis with local support.

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