Michelle Young, 34, a US Army Staff Sergeant and fitness guru, died by herself on Saturday, according to reports. Ms. Young, the mother of 12-year-old daughter Gracie, was described as a “beautiful soul” and an “amazing friend” by those who knew her best.
“Our good friend and athlete, Michelle, was taken from us by suicide. Michelle was a beautiful soul, an amazing friend, a single mother, a soldier, and is proof you never know what someone is going through or what demons they may be fighting. We will never fill the gaps in our hearts and will always be left with questions why,” Staff Sergeant Young’s friend Sarah Maine wrote on GoFundMe.
Ms. Young Was a Social Media Influencer with Over 100,000 Followers on Instagram
Ms. Young posted a loving birthday greeting for her daughter on Instagram just a few days before she committed suicide.
In addition to serving in the military, Ms. Young was a social media influencer with over 100,000 followers on Instagram. Through this platform, she modeled for designer brands and lobbied for better mental health care for US Army veterans.
During Suicide Prevention Week in September, she wrote a piece about her own experiences, admitting that her older brother committed suicide when she was only 14 years old. She encouraged others in difficulty to seek help.
Despite her vocal advocacy for mental health, the circumstances of Ms. Young’s suicide remain unknown.
“Michelle is survived by her daughter Gracie, who was her whole world. NOTHING can replace her mother, but the purpose of this is to help her daughter Gracie with anything she may need. We know Michelle would appreciate us all looking out for her now,” Ms. Maine said.
In response to this tragedy, more than $30,000 has been raised on Ms. Young’s GoFundMe page, with the proceeds going straight to her daughter, Gracie.