Kate Spade might not be with us anymore, but her memory is going to guide others in crisis.
As reported by Page Six, Kate Spade New York has decided to donate $1 million to support suicide prevention and mental awareness causes as a tribute to the company’s late founder.
In the beginning, a quarter of the total amount, $250,000, will be donated to Crisis Text Line, a 24-hour freely available text message service that seeks to help those who are considering suicide. The company has also said that it would make more donations in the period from June 20 to June 29, matching the amount that will be donated by the general public to the text line over the same period. As of now, $16,000 has already been donated to Crisis by members of the public.
As well as making donations to support suicide prevention, Kate Spade New York has also made it a priority to be more involved with the mental health of all its employees. The company is set to host a Global Mental Health Awareness Day which will be part of its larger, employee-driven Wellness Program.
The decision to donate $1 million from the company comes within two weeks of the world-renowned designer taking her own life in her New York City apartment on June 5 at the age of 55.
After Kate’s sudden death, her husband revealed that she had been suffering from mental depression for years and had actively been seeking the guidance of doctors and mental health professionals.
“Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years,” Andy Spade had said in a statement to the New York Times.
“She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”
After Kate’s suicide, there were insinuations in the media that Andy Spade shared a troubled relationship with his wife, especially as the couple had been living away from each other for about 10 months. But Andy quashed those suggestions, saying the media were attempting to create a story where none existed.
Kate had left a note for her 13-year-old daughter Frances Beatrix, her only child, the sharing of which by TMZ and several other outlets following her suicide was a decision bashed later by Andy Spade.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.