+

At around 10:20 a.m. on June 5, 2018, fashion icon Kate Spade was found dead in her New York apartment.

She was 55 years old.

The Associated Press was early to report news of the legendary handbag designer's death. From the outside, she seemed to have it all: a husband/business partner, a 13-year-old daughter, and millions of dollars.


As is so often the case with suicide, however, this view from the outside didn't tell nearly the whole story.

​Kate Spade attends the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006. Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images for TFF.

As people paid tribute on social media, some started an important conversation about how we talk about suicide.

Let's face it: Talking about mental health and suicide is never easy. Between the stigma that surrounds it and the struggles some have to get the health care they need, it's easy to just let a lot of commonsense things go unsaid — which only increases the stigma.

On Twitter, a number of people stepped forward to break the silence around the topic.

Empathy was a common theme in many of these posts.

Others offered up a simple tip: Check in on family and friends who might feel vulnerable in the wake of this high profile news. A simple, "I just wanted to say hi and see how you're doing" can go a long way.

Another common theme was a reminder that depression isn't always easy to spot in others.

Even worse, some people feel too embarrassed to reach out when they need help, especially those who look outwardly successful. "Kate Spade was an entrepreneurial and artistic force, and all of us know that already," Anne T. Donahue wrote. "But what we don't tend to is what's going on behind the scenes."

Lots of people spoke up to remind those struggling that overcoming embarrassment in order to ask for help is really tough — and that's OK.

Journalist Ana Marie Cox shared the secrets to overcoming that: reminding yourself that you are loved and understanding when to ask for help. You're probably underestimating how many people in your life care deeply for you.

LGBTQ advocate Charlotte Clymer urged people to keep in mind how their words can affect others during times of tragedy. For example, this isn't the time or place to say things like, "Well, I didn't like her bags anyway." Resources like Reporting on Suicide are great for journalists as well as the rest of us.

Another crucial issue many are bringing up is the fact that suicide is a public health issue.

"Depression is a life threatening illness just like heart disease, cancer, or sepsis," tweeted Dr. Eugene Gu. "There should be no stigma about mental health — only treatment, awareness, and compassion."

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by these discussions, there's no shame in signing off the internet for the day. Take care of yourself. The world will still be here in the morning.

And if you find yourself in a crisis, there are many important resources worth keeping on hand, among them the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), the Crisis Text Line (text "HOME" to 741741), and the Trevor Project (866-488-7386).

If you're in a bad place, these organizations are there to help without judgment. There's no shame in calling them up.

Finally, if you know of a friend who is considering suicide, there are some simple things you can do to help them out.

Twitter user @erinscafe shared a great list that tackles the issue. "Be the lifeline they can grab onto if they need it."

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less

Sandler's daughters held nothing back.

Clearly the funny gene runs in the Sandler family. Comedy aficionado Adam Sandler just proved it after reading an insanely funny acceptance speech, which was allegedly written by his two teenage daughters— Sunny, 14, and Sadie, 16. It was such a savage roast, one is compelled to not doubt the claim.

The event was the prestigious Gotham Awards in New York, where Sandler was set to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award. Michelle Williams and the late Sidney Poitier were also honored, just to give you an idea as to how highbrow this event was.

But did that stop Sandler’s daughter from going all out? It did not. They were hilariously ruthless.

Keep ReadingShow less

Philadelphia is taking the city back to the past.

Remember when calling your parents, a tow truck or a friend when you were out and about meant digging in your pocket for a quarter to make a pay phone call? Well, a Philadelphia-based collective, PhilTel, is jumping into the past with a modern twist, by installing free-to-use pay phones throughout the city.

Of course, the pay phones that many of us grew up were removed from public places years ago. There no longer seemed to be a need for them when most people had a phone in their pocket or in their hand. But it's easy to forget that not everyone has or wants that luxury. For some people, staying that connected all the time can be too much and for others, it's simply financially impossible to own a cell phone.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Think all cats are the same? These pictures prove they each have their own personality

Photographer Nils Jacobi shows how cats aren't nearly as aloof as one might think.

All images used with Nils Jacobi's permission. @furryfritz/Instagram

Catographer purrfectly captures cats' purrsonalities.

People often mistakingly attribute a singular personality to cats—usually the words "aloof" or "snobby" are used to describe them. At best, they might be given the "evil genius" label. But in actuality, no two cats are alike. Each has their own distinct ways of being, whether that’s silly, sophisticated, affectionate, downright diabolical or somewhere in between.

This photographer has the pictures to prove it.

Nils Jacobi, better known online as furryfritz, the catographer, has photographed literally thousands upon thousands of cats—from Maine coons who look like they should be in a perfume ad to tabbies in full-on derp mode.
Keep ReadingShow less