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10 Important Things To Know About Depression And Suicide After Kate Spade's Death

Here are some important mental health resources and facts.

Posted on June 6, 2018, at 4:58 p.m. ET

Designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday after a reported suicide. She was 55.

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Suicide is complex, shocking, often hard to understand, and can leave people with more questions than answers. The world knew Spade as the woman with amazing creativity and business acumen who was behind a handbag empire known for its vibrant, feminine designs. But she was also, her family said, living with mental illness.

"The signs were all there and I tried to help her for so long," Spade's sister, Reta Brosnahan Saffo, told BuzzFeed News.

At the news of her death, there has been an outpouring of love and grief from her family, friends, and fans. Spade's death has also sparked a conversation about mental health in general. Here are a few important things to know about depression and suicide.

1. Mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of socioeconomic class or status.

With Kate Spade’s passing, it’s an important reminder that money, fame, and capitalistic success cannot beat back depression or mental illness. Check in on your people. Talk about feelings. Discuss mental health. Open those doors. Take care of each other.

2. You can't tell from looking at someone that they have depression or other mental health issues.

The irony of depression. People ask questions like, “You’re so happy all the time and you have everything! How are you depressed?” Try to open your eyes! Kate Spade embodied such a bright, fun, colorful, and happy brand... yet there was something dark going on inside of her.

3. There are warning signs of suicide, but they aren't always easy to spot.

These are the warning signs from the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. Just about everyone has one or two of these signs and symptoms at any given point, so it's not always easy to tell when someone is at risk. Here are other resources that may help you or someone you know:* You can check out 17 Steps For Recognizing and Responding To Warning Signs Of Suicide* You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).* You can use the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.* Or you can reach out to suicide helplines outside the US.
American Foundation For Suicide Prevention / Via afsp.org

These are the warning signs from the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. Just about everyone has one or two of these signs and symptoms at any given point, so it's not always easy to tell when someone is at risk.

Here are other resources that may help you or someone you know:

* You can check out 17 Steps For Recognizing and Responding To Warning Signs Of Suicide

* You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

* You can use the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

* Or you can reach out to suicide helplines outside the US.

4. There are people in your life, right now, who might need help.

Such tragic news about Kate Spade. Mental illness is real and we must not look away from helping those in need of support. There is no shame in reaching out for help. Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255 #KateSpade

5. Simply having money or fame isn't a cure for depression or other issues that can affect mental health.

I am really sad re: Kate Spade, and I hope that if anything comes out of this, it will be people who have felt like their lives are too Objectively Good to reach out for help with depression will reassess that. No one can out-earn or out-being-loved their mental illness.

6. And it's important to be kind and show empathy.

Its the little bits of anger & bitterness that pile up until it just feels too big to handle... i pray that Kate Spade's death reminds us to be kind, to show Love&Hope TO ALL, not just to the obviously depressed, but even to those who seem like they have it all figured out 💔

7. Depression doesn't fit into any one narrative.

for people in disbelief that successful, accomplished, talented people like kate spade can kill themselves, for people who may feel the impulse to ask "but why?" please recognize that this happens every day and mental illness does not follow logic

8. And mental health is like any other health issue — and should be taken just as seriously.

Incredibly saddened by Kate Spade’s tragic suicide at only 55. Depression is a life threatening illness just like heart disease, cancer, or sepsis. There should be no stigma about mental health—only treatment, awareness, and compassion.

9. So here's a reminder to check in with the people you love.

I’m telling y’all, depression is REAL. People put on a brave face, fake smiles daily to make others comfortable but people are hurting deep down. ALWAYS check on your friends a simple “hey I thought about you” goes a LONG way man. Rip Kate Spade 💜

10. Even people who seem to have it all are not immune to mental health problems.

Kate Spade's suicide reminds us once again that wealth and fame does not equate to an immunity to depression. People who are shocked that successful people can possibly kill themselves do not understand the challenges of mental health.

Again, if you or someone you know is dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and/or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Or you can reach suicide helplines outside the US too.

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