Reaching Out

Suicide Hotline Calls Jump 25% After Spade, Bourdain Deaths

Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline spiked by 25 percent after the deaths of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, the director of the hotline said. The number—1-800-273-8255—was widely shared on social media in the wake of the two celebrities’ shocking deaths by suicide last week. Director John Draper said there’s a similar spike whenever a celebrity takes their own life, saying people feel a “collective sense of loss.” Alan Ross, executive director of Samaritans suicide prevention center in New York, said those struggling with their mental health can be prompted to seek help after a high-profile figure dies by suicide. “The random number of things that can stimulate people who are already likely to get worse is so varied,” he said. “When there is promotion and marketing and in some ways acceptance, yeah, it does drive people to reach out.”