American-Spanish actress María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza, known simply by her stage name Charo, is pleading for mental health awareness in the wake of immense grief. The actress lost her beloved husband of 40 years, Kjell Rasten, earlier this week. Rasten took his own life following years of health issues and depression. He was 79-years-old, according to Today.
Charo found the love she’d always been looking for with Rasten, a successful film producer whom she married in 1978. The pair have one son together, 37-year-old Shel Rasten. She couldn’t imagine a better partner or father for her son. Unfortunately, her husband was facing demons that she couldn’t rescue him from.
In recent years, Rasten was diagnosed with a rare disease known as bullous pemphigoid. This condition causes blisters to form all over the skin, causing pain and itchiness. While treatment can alleviate the symptoms, the disease cannot be cured. Rasten was overwhelmed by the diagnosis and felt unable to enjoy his same quality of life with all the medications he was forced to take. His physical suffering caused him to develop intense depression.
In a heartbreaking post only a day after her tragic loss, Charo took to Instagram to plead with those suffering from mental illness to seek help. She said that she was simply blindsided by the tragedy and never saw it coming. Although she is going through unimaginable grief, she wants others who are suffering to recognize that there are always alternatives to suicide.
“None of us had any idea that this could happen to such a wonderful, kind and generous man. Please, if anyone you know and love is suffering from depression or illness, hold them close, tell them you love them with all your heart and that the world is better because they are in it. Get any help you can. Suicide is not the answer.”
The Beverly Hills Police Department arrived at the couple’s home on Monday afternoon after receiving a 911 call. It was there they discovered Rasten with life-threatening injuries. Although the producer was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment, it was too late to save his life. His death was later officially ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Although Rasten’s family is devastated by his premature loss, they hope the tragedy will encourage others to express their love for those in their life. Reaching out to those who are struggling could save their life.
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.