Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain deaths open suicide conversation

The highly-publicised deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have led to warnings of a rise in suicides here in Australia.

Sixty-one-year-old Bourdain was found dead in his French hotel on Friday, just three days after the 55-year-old American designer died in her Manhattan apartment.

In Australia, more than 2,500 people die by suicide each year with the rate among those aged between 55 and 64 on the rise.

“Silence can be deadly when it comes to suicide”

Mental health experts are happy that people are speaking about mental health issues more, but stress that we need to be on the lookout for friends, family and colleagues who may be struggling so we can step in before it’s too late.

“We need to bring this conversation out of the shadows and talk about it as we do any other physical illness’ Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said on Sunrise this morning.

Things to watch for:

– People getting their affairs in order: making wills, giving things away
– Verbalising negative feelings: “I’m worthless”
– Risk taking: driving fast, taking drugs

For information on what to do if you think someone you know may be at risk of suicide, head over to the Beyond Blue website.

If you or anyone you know needs help, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.