Cheslie Kryst's suicide is changing the way the Miss USA pageant supports contestants ... and there's a new emphasis on mental health.
Contestants who are currently competing are now getting access to mental health workshops ... Crystle Stewart, Prez of the Miss USA org tells TMZ.
There's lots of mental stress that goes into the Miss USA pageants, which Crystle says can lead to anxiety and depression ... and the new workshops pair the contestants with psychiatrists and mental health experts.
Crystle says it's all being done through her organization, the Crystle Stewart Foundation, and she says the workshops will help the ladies prepare to be on stage and in the public eye, teach them coping mechanisms for when they feel anxious or overwhelmed, and show them how to avoid a state of depression if they don't win.
It's interesting ... Crystle says the mental health services will be just as important for winners as for those who don't take home the crown. She says the Miss USA winners almost have more stress, because they're immediately uprooted to Los Angeles, thrown into the Miss Universe competition and become overnight celebrities ... all of which require tons of mental prep.
Crystle says Cheslie's death struck the pageant world really hard, and made her speed up the process to provide contestants with mental health resources.
For now, we're told the workshops are only available to contestants who are currently competing ... but Crystle hopes to set up an alumni program where former contestants can receive similar resources.