Mom of Cheslie Kryst speaks out after tWitch’s death


(NewsNation) — April Simpkins says she was heartbroken after learning about the tragic death of former “Ellen” TV show DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who died by suicide.

Simpkins didn’t know him personally, but his story hit close to home. Simpkins’ daughter, Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, died by suicide in January at age 30.

“We need to learn to listen differently,” Simpkins said Saturday during an appearance on NewsNation’s “Prime.” “Each of us needs to make ourselves a safe space so that those who appear and present, the way Cheslie and the way tWitch did, can talk and be heard. It has to be completely a judgment-free zone.”

Accomplishments are not the same as cures, according to Simpkins.

“When we listen and don’t minimize, we are able to then create a safe space so that these people can tell us exactly what’s going on,” Simpkins said.

A new Gallup Poll revealed that Americans’ positive self-assessments of their mental health are the lowest they’ve been in two decades.

Dr. Jeff Gardere shared mental health warning signs and said it’s important to let your loved ones know they’re not alone.

“What we see is, they may have some sadness. They may be feeling down,” Gardere said. “There’s a loss of interest in the daily activities, especially the ones that they really had a lot of joy with at one point,” Gardere said.

Lack of energy, low self-esteem, avoidance of social activities, poor appetite and sleep problems are other signs of a depressive disorder, according to Gardere.

If you or a loved one are experiencing mental distress, please call or text 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

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