Designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday after a reported suicide. She was 55.
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.
2. You can't tell from looking at someone that they have depression or other mental health issues.
3. There are warning signs of suicide, but they aren't always easy to spot.
4. There are people in your life, right now, who might need help.
5. Simply having money or fame isn't a cure for depression or other issues that can affect mental health.
6. And it's important to be kind and show empathy.
7. Depression doesn't fit into any one narrative.
8. And mental health is like any other health issue — and should be taken just as seriously.
9. So here's a reminder to check in with the people you love.
10. Even people who seem to have it all are not immune to mental health problems.
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.