Kate Spade’s Death Sparks Light on Mental Health Awareness
“She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes”, was Kate Spade’s desire for those who invested in her brand and was the je ne sais quoi she hoped to inspire. Kate, herself, exemplified this in her many contributions.
On Tuesday, June 5th, media outlets inundated the public with the breaking news: Kate Spade had taken her own life. As a designer, an entrepreneur, and a philanthropist, Kate Spade was a quintessential icon of classic style, vision, and grace.
The investigation into Kate Spade’s suicide is ongoing. Details are being revealed indicating that she suffered for years with mental health issues. It remains unclear as to the finite details of her mental health struggles, but the fact remains: the signs had been missed.
To many, she was a woman who had it all – money, fame, success, family – but it only goes to show that mental illness can impact anyone. In a world where it’s easy to become immersed in the fast-paced routine of life, mental health often takes a backseat. Over the years, attempts have been made to diminish the stigma surrounding mental health, but the stigma still exists. In recent years, we see more public figures and celebrities openly addressing their personal struggles with mental illness. Their openness reminds those who may be in a similar situation that they are not alone and encourages them to seek support.
Kate Spade’s death brings us back to a crucial discussion of mental health being as important as taking care of our physical health. Suicide ranks amongst the top ten leading causes of death in this country. Suicidal thoughts are not signs of weakness. With the proper support and treatment, suicidal thoughts and behaviors can be reduced. With National Mental Health Awareness Month being observed in May; the work to break the stigma should not end there. Simply raising awareness is not enough; we need to center our efforts on what we can do to support and connect those in need to the proper services.
In her life, Kate Spade created a legacy for individuals of all ages and backgrounds with exuberating passion, confidence, and optimism. In her death, her legacy sparks a call for action towards emphasizing the importance of mental health and working towards prevention. Let’s honor and celebrate her life in this way.
A Special Tribute to Kate Spade from the Writer:
Simron Sahoo – FVI Guest Blogger
I purchased my first Kate Spade handbag this past year during my senior year of college. Had given me a gift card for my birthday, my friends knew how much I adored the elegance of both the bags and the brand. When I made my first Kate Spade purchase, I relished in the excitement of the years I spent admiring her sophisticated and classy bags – where simplicity met style. This purchase represented more than buying an accessory. A Kate Spade purse was not simply just a purse – it was a symbol of venturing out into adulthood. When I heard the news of Kate Spade’s passing, I couldn’t believe it. Not only was she my favorite designer, but she also embodied a feministic vision, becoming a pioneer for women in the professional world.
Her presence impacted my life. She will be missed, but her legacy will live on.
For many survivors of suicide loss, the journey of healing can be lonely, painful, and confusing. At Fox Valley Institute, we understand this struggle and we are here for you. We offer a Bereavement Support Group for adults who have lost a loved one through suicide that meets the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 8:00 am – 9:00 am. Please call 630.718.0717, ext. 240 to be added to the bereavement email list and click here for additional resources.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of the warning signs of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Visit afsp.org for more information on warning signs and suicide prevention.
Simron Sahoo, FVI Guest Blogger
B.S. Psychology 2018, Minors in Neuroscience, Math, and Biology
Loyola University Chicago