Kate Spade was a 55-year-old fashion designer who sold colorful handbags. Kate was inspired by her husband Andy to start a handbag company. Kate Spade lived in New York and had more than 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the United States, and more than 175 stores internationally (CNN, 2018). Over time, Kate distanced herself from her business. Kate and her husband sold 56% of the brand, and the luxury fashion company Coach announced plans to buy Kate Spade in May of 2017 for $ 2.4 billion. On Tuesday at her Manhattan apartment, Kate died by suicide. It was reported that she completed suicide by hanging herself with a scarf (CNN, 2018). Spade was found by her housekeeper. A suicide note was found on the scene which addressed her daughter and husband.
Per CNN (2018), suicide rates in the United States has seen a sharp increase in recent years. It is now the 10th leading cause in the country, according to the American Foundation for suicide prevention. Per WebMD (2018), Every year about 42,000 Americans die by suicide, one million others attempt it, and 9 million people think about it. Studies have shown that the risk of suicide declines sharply when people call the national suicide hotline at (800)273-TALK. People who take their lives don’t want to die, but rather want to end their pain. Some signs to look for are: social withdrawal, increased focus on death, increased feelings of despair, and/or mood swings. (WebMD, 2018). Depression is also a major risk factor for suicide. Despair and helplessness go along with depression, which can make suicide feel like the only way to escape pain. Some signs to look for are: a loss of interest in daily activities, changes in sleep pattern, loss of energy, increased dialogue about killing or harming oneself, and expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped (Helpguide). If you or anyone you know needs support and someone to talk to, counseling services are available at Olive Branch Counseling Associates Inc. Give us a call at (708)663-8000.