The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards' best friend Lorene Shea died on May 1, the actress wrote on Instagram Friday. Shea struggled with "debilitating depression," Richards wrote, adding that the "system failed her." Shea was 52, reports Page Six.
"I never imagined I would be posting something like this ...this is my best friend Lorene... my best friend since I was 7 years old," Richards, 53, wrote, alongside a gallery of photos with Shea. "My other half. We did everything together... from losing our baby teeth, to having babies & everything in between & everything that followed."
Shea was "kind, thoughtful, funny, smart, beautiful, sentimental," Richards continued. However, the most important thing in the world to her friend was "being a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt & friend (dog mom, too)."
Richards and Shea spoke together every day, but Shea began to "suffer from debilitating degression" recently, Richards wrote. She had "always been a happy person," so the change puzzled those around Shea. Everyone supported her and "did everything that could be done to get her help," Richards wrote, "but the system is broken."
"The system made it impossible to get her the help she needed," Richards continued. "This past Sunday we lost Lorene. The system failed her! The system failed her loved ones who are now left in unbearable pain. I will do whatever it takes to try & help change the laws that are in place that prevent people from getting the help they need. I love you, Lorene."
At the end of her post, Richards added broken heart and praying hands emojis. She asked her followers to keep Shea's family and loved ones in their thoughts and prayers. Richards also added several hashtags, including "mental health awareness," "mental illness," "mental health advocate" and "mental health awareness month." May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
Many of Richards' Real Housewives co-stars offered their condolences. "I am so sorry Kyle," Melissa Gorga wrote. "That is heartbreaking I'm so sorry for you and her family," Garcelle Beauvais added. "I haven't stopped thinking about you this week. I'm so deeply sorry," Crystal Kung Minkoff wrote. "It's a loss no one should experience."
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.