Hello Friends,

Every day we scan news headlines and social media for items of interest to the field of suicide prevention. Here’s what we found last week:

Seeing the signs: Understanding and preventing suicideGlobal
June 10, 2018
Mara Grunau was on Global Calgary Sunday morning talking about the recent suicide deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. “Mental illness doesn’t choose. You can experience it whether you’re rich or poor… When a celebrity dies… we all feel the impact of that death and that’s where it’s an opportunity to have the conversation,” said Grunau.

Grunau: What we can learn from Kate Spade’s suicideCalgary Herald
June 9, 2018
In this editorial piece for the Calgary Herald, Executive Director Mara Grunau reflects on what we can learn from Kate Spade’s tragic death and why encouraging help-seeking is the best suicide prevention: “Instead of chiding women for personifying help-seeking, let us celebrate it. Together, let us create a community where help-seeking is encouraged and where we boldly offer it, to both men and women. While we work diligently to close the gender gap on boards and commissions and in CEO offices, let us work equally hard at being honest with each other and with ourselves. When we are struggling, let’s not journey alone. Together we can prevent suicide.”

‘Left behind’: The struggle people can face after a loved one dies by suicideCBC
June 9, 2018
Survivors of suicide loss can be reminded of the pain of their loved one’s suicide when celebrity deaths appear in the news. Corinne McDermott explained to CBC how “she felt like she’d been taken right back to the moment she learned her mother was dead” after learning about Kate Spade’s death. She also thought of Spade’s daughter. “[She] is 13,” McDermott wrote in a Facebook post. “She will never be the same… When your parent takes their own life, you’re still here. But you are also left behind.”
Related – When every suicide in the news is a reminder of a death in your familyLos Angeles Times
June 9, 2018

The timely and tragic lessons to be learned from celebrity suicidesGlobe and Mail
June 8, 2018
André Picard describes celebrity suicide deaths as a “mixed blessing,” noting that talking about suicide openly helps to break down stigma and facilitate difficult conversations. However, it’s important to be aware of how we talk about suicide – glorifying it can send the wrong message, therefore when famous people die by suicide, he says, “We should celebrate their lives, not the way their lives ended.”

*Method warning* CNN’s Anthony Bourdain dead at 61CNN
June 8, 2018
Anthony Bourdain, 61, died by suicide on June 8, 2018. Bourdain rose to fame after publishing a piece in the New Yorker, Don’t Eat Before Reading This, which he then turned into a book, Kitchen Confidential, a bestseller. Before his death, Bourdain was working for CNN as host of “Parts Unknown” where he took viewers to restaurants around the world.

The insatiable and unknowable Anthony BourdainNew York Times
June 8, 2018
This opinion piece explores the public perception of celebrities vs. reality by examining perceptions of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. “But (Bourdain’s) death, coming just days after the suicide of the beloved designer Kate Spade, is at least as noteworthy for another reason: how powerfully it speaks to the discrepancy between what we see of people on the outside and what they’re experiencing on the inside; between their public faces and their private realities; between their visible swagger and invisible pain. Parts unknown: That was true of Bourdain. That was true of Spade. That’s true of every one of us,” said the author.

Kate Spade’s death proves depression doesn’t just affect the poor, unsuccessful Globe and Mail
June 7, 2018
This piece unpacks the narrative surrounding celebrity deaths, namely the narrative that these celebrities “had it all” so how could it be possible that they would suffer from mental illness? “You wouldn’t say ‘Oh my gosh, she had it all, how did she get cancer?’” said Patrick Smith, national CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association. “The reality is that depression and most mental illnesses do not discriminate by postal code. They don’t discriminate by income bracket.”

Suicide rates rising across the USCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
June 7, 2018
The CDC in the US has released a study revealing suicide as one of just three leading causes of death on the rise. 45,000 Americans died by suicide in 2016, and it’s now the 10th leading cause of death.
Related – Why suicide is more than a mental health issueCBC
June 8, 2018

*Method warning* Kate Spade, whose handbags carried women into adulthood, is dead at 55New York Times
June 5, 2018
Fashion designer Kate Spade died by suicide on June 5, 2018 at the age of 55. According to husband Andy Spade, Spade had sought treatment for severe depression. She started the brand Kate Spade with husband Andy in the 1990’s, creating affordable luxury items, notably handbags. Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour released a statement following her death, saying: “There was a moment when you couldn’t walk a block in New York without seeing one of her bags, which were just like her: colorful and unpretentious.”

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