Kristoff St. John died in February 2019 — just over four years after his son Julian died by suicide

By Tomás Mier
February 03, 2020 07:55 PM
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One year after saying goodbye to ex-husband Kristoff St. John, Mia St. John is opening up about what she thinks led to his death at age 52.

In a preview of Tuesday’s episode of The Doctors, Mia talks about how the death of her son Julian, who died by suicide at age 24 in November 2014 following a lifelong battle with mental illness, impacted the late Young and the Restless star’s final years.

“You mentioned in the tape piece that after Julian’s death, ultimately Kristoff passed and you think that Julian’s death really was ultimately the cause,” says host Travis Stork.

“I don’t think — I know,” she responds, firmly. “We were both terribly depressed and feeling suicidal from time to time, but his was so much deeper because there was so much guilt involved.”

Host Andrew Ordon then asks Mia, 52, if Kristoff thought “he could have done more” with Julian.

“Kristoff didn’t really understand mental illness,” Mia explains about Kristoff, whose death was caused by heart disease, which was exacerbated by alcohol use.

Kristoff and Mia St. John
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

On Sunday, Mia paid tribute to her son and ex-husband on Instagram.

“I’ve died twice in my life already. The day my son passed and the day #superbowlsunday last year when his father passed?,” she captioned a post, which included several photos of the late father and son.

“2020 will be my rebirth,” the five-time world boxing champion added.

In a separate Doctors clip, Mia opens up about her son’s tragic death.

“There were so many errors starting from having plastic bags in a suicide unit, a high risk unit. Not doing the mandatory checks,” she says. “Also, my son was on a powerful anti-psychotic, which [when] toxicology came back, there was no anti-psychotic in his system so they were not giving him his medication.”

“If he was on his anti-psychotic, he would have never taken his life,” she adds.

Mia St. John

Talking to PEOPLE in December, Mia said her upcoming book Fighting For My Life, set for release this year, will address how her son and ex-husband’s deaths led her to spread awareness about mental health.

“I’ve been in this fight for reform of our mental health system for so Iong,” she said. “Kristoff and I lost our son in a mental health facility that was found guilty of neglect. Then when I uncovered a lot of the facilities in LA County, I discovered that this was going on everywhere because there have been many deaths. My son wasn’t the only one. So I’ve been on that vision.”

“When Kristoff lost his life, he was also neglected by the facility that he was put in,” she continued. “He was let go while still being suicidal. Then, my mission just completely skyrocketed. And I just want the public to be aware of what’s happening.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.