Like millions, I was shocked to read about the suicide of designer Kate Spade. Articles and tweets quickly paid tribute to her icon status in fashion. Hers is a household name in the homes of women even remotely interested in style. In addition to her handbags, she’s known for her meteoric rise from a women’s magazine editor to creating a million-dollar brand with her husband. (More on that here.)
We all know that money, fame, and success do not buy happiness. They are certainly no match for the colossal power of depression.
Suicidologists, aka clinicians and researchers that study suicide, have identified a few protective factors that actually can prevent suicide.
- Access to behavioral health care that works
- A strong support system that includes family, friends, and community
- Life skills, like problem-solving and coping tools
- Healthy self-esteem and a sense of purpose
It’s hard to know what was missing from Kate Spade’s life that overpowered her will to live. She had access to health care, life skills, and seemed to have a solid marriage. (How else could you work with your partner for decades?) She had a thirteen-year-old daughter, which would certainly provide some sense of purpose. Plus, her brand is basically all about living life with color and sparkles.
Her suicide is a punch-in-the-gut reminder that no matter how much pain we are dealing with, we cannot give in. We have to fight depression head-on every single day. If you are struggling right now, please reach out for support.
We are all worth it.