Memorial fund for mental health help created a year after Cheslie Kryst’s death

CHARLOTTE — A memorial fund has been created to support people facing mental health challenges in honor of Cheslie Kryst, who was a Charlotte native and former Miss USA.

Kryst died by suicide on Jan. 30, 2022.

Now, one year after her death, her family is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to launch the Cheslie C. Kryst Memorial Fund for Mental Health.


Kryst’s mom, April Simpkins, first announced the fund earlier this month at the Miss Universe pageant.

“Cheslie dealt with high-functioning depression,” Simpkins said while announcing the fund. “The Cheslie you saw didn’t always match the way she felt inside. Just because someone tells you they’re fine, doesn’t mean they are.”

Kryst, in addition to a former Miss USA, was an attorney and EXTRA-TV correspondent.

The goal of the memorial fund is to “honor her legacy and provide help and hope to others experiencing mental health challenges, including high-functioning depression,” a news release read.

The fund launched Monday.

“We are honored to launch the Cheslie C. Kryst Memorial Fund for Mental Health,” NAMI CEO Dan Gillison said. “In celebrating the life of Miss Kryst, we are also aiming to help others with resources and support for their mental health.”

Kryst’s family and NAMI are asking for donations of at least $30 from supporters toward fund -- a dollar for each year of her life. Donations can be made by clicking here.

(WATCH BELOW: Family of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst invites community to honor her life on birthday)

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