I was terribly saddened to hear the news of Kate Spade passing away yesterday.
She was so very talented and my immediate thoughts go out to her family and loved ones.
I realise that this is a sensitive topic to write about but I feel it is also necessary and important.
With suicide still one of the biggest killers, it’s clear that more needs to be done to support those suffering.
Whenever a celebrity or well-known figure dies prematurely, especially in this way, there is an outpouring of grief – and rightly so.
However, I sometimes feel that it is only when a tragedy like this occurs that many people stop and take notice of the crisis we, as a society, are in.
People die from suicide every day.
Daughters, sons, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, friends.
Every day people feel like they just can’t go on and like there is no other way but to end everything.
Every day lives are being destroyed through loss, in the most tragic circumstances.
This isn’t new.
It isn’t something we should only take note of when it happens to a celebrity.
I also find that in cases like this, many people ask the question: ‘why?’
‘Why would somebody so successful take their own life?’
‘Why would somebody with no money worries feel they couldn’t cope?’
‘What did they have to be depressed about?’
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about mental illness.
Mental illness is not selective.
Mental illness does not discriminate.
It can affect anyone, even those who seemingly have the world at their feet.
People do not need a ‘reason’ to be depressed. That’s not how it works.
You never know what someone is going through and often those with the biggest smiles can be hiding the biggest secrets.
I think we all just need to be aware that mental health is important all the time, not just sometimes.
We need to keep fighting to educate and to end the stigma so that people can talk without judgement and seek help without shame.