Designer Kate Spade, 55, was found dead in her home Tuesday morning, June 5th, on Park Ave by her housekeeper. Spade had committed suicide by hanging herself in her home, and the only thing she left behind was a note to her and her husband’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade. Her note read: “This has nothing to do with you. Don’t feel guilty. Ask your dad”. This led investigators to believe her marriage was the reason behind her death.
Rumors from inside sources arose, claiming she was a “major alcoholic” and that preparing to file for divorce is what led to her suicide, allegedly. Reta Saffo, her estranged sister, told the press that her sister had been struggling with mental health problems for years but was afraid to seek help due to fearing it would negatively impact her brand’s image.
Later that same week, celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain was found dead from suicide in his hotel room in France while filming an episode for CNN’s Parts Unknown.
The stigma surrounding mental health is partially why it isn’t spoken enough about. The worry of being judged or seen as less needs to end. More awareness needs to be brought to mental health to begin the conversation on what can be done by providing information of how to live with mental illness.
Since Spade’s suicide, calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline increased 25% compared to the prior week, and her brother, David Spade, donated $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.