By Rossana Naveda
Mental health issues like depression among other mental diseases usually are associated to people who is not doing as winners, or at least with the common elements of a well established life. Reading about her death was something really sad for me because when you love someone by her work, it is impossible to think you would not miss the talent that everybody will miss. Meanwhile, for her family, her husband, her daughter, this is a devastating experience and probably, they would remember forever the amazing details from the personality of this Mid-Western girl.
What called my attention is Coach, now known as Tapestry, bought the Kate Spade brand last year for $2.4 billion. This is a clear sign of how having or not having money could not be the main reason of someone to kill themselves. Most of the time we believe that having things like a fortune, or a established life with a husband, a family, and friends, as well as, stability in the external would be everything to be healthy in the physical and mental aspects of our lives.
Perhaps, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was right to increase the budget with additional AUS$ 34 million for saving more lives of people thinking about suicide. A few weeks ago, the Prime Minister gave this information. It has been a long journey in different countries for creating awareness toward mental health issues. In England and The United States the Royal Family and Lady Gaga were trying to increase the confidence in young generations and adults to speak about it but we found that in a time where we are more connected to others than ever through our devices, we are more lonely than too. In Australia, Suicide deaths has increased by more than 20 percent between 2004 and 2014, and it is the leading cause of death in Australians aged between 15 and 44 years. The rate of indigenous suicide is double the rate of non-indigenous suicide.
This said something important. We are desperate to make robots act like humans but we forgot humans are killing themselves in highest rates in a decade. And this is happening in France, Canada, Australia, Spain, The United States, among other developed and underdeveloped economies. Some people do not like to use those words to describe them but I still believe they are better than 1st and 3rd world, the words used to mention them in my Encyclopedias of Geography and History.
While I grew up and I was studying English, I discover for the first time about the Japan’s high rate of suicides between students, who couldn’t achieve the milestone they and their parents desire to achieve, and how their perception of suicides in this culture was responsible in part of this behaviour. Honor for them was like a religion, the tradition of honourable suicide is still part of their culture. And at some point I could understand their way to see life but if someone would take my honour, I would probably rather try to kill him, her, or them, rather than killing myself. Definitely, a different cultural background determine our beliefs and actions.
However, what has been happening in the last two decades it is something the majority is ignoring. Killing yourself for economic distress is not new, even people during the Wall Street market crashed in 1929 provoked numerous incidents related to suicide. In modern times, Spain has a outrageous number of suicides attached to economic reasons provoked by the crisis where millions had lost their houses. In France, as it was reported by The Local, every year around 220,000 people in France attempt to take their own life and 10,000 of those die as a result. Most of the time, the reason is how any individual feels connected to their job, and when they are not able to find a way to make it, that caused distress.
However, what you could understand when somebody, who is not facing this kind of external issues, and it is living in a complete different scenario as successful people, kill himself or herself. Perhaps, we should try to understand the reason is not necessarily the cause but the inability to cope with the trauma, and how society tends to ignore the person suffering, or seeing with disregard the reasons or causes behind this situation.
In this case, having more interaction with other and a group of people helping you when you felt like there was not anything to do, to try, to share, or to express to change your sadness. Particularly, when they couldn’t understand how someone with everything they would like to have could not be happy. People can feel even annoyed.
And this is not only for lonely people, I found that some experts said isolation is the first step in this case of scenario, but I have listened new mothers having a terrible case of baby blue, even when everybody is around happy and supporting them. Of course, I was there listening and telling them that even when the experience could be overwhelming, excessively demanding and scaring; they would raise a beautiful child in the future, rather, than criticising, humiliating, bullying, gossiping or ignoring them like most of the time people do when they must listen someone saying things like that.
For young people this even harder. The popular TV teen drama Thirteen reasons why is a good example of how younger generations face more than ever a high risk of killing themselves under pressure of being different, not so popular, not so thin, not so sexy, not so whatever other people want. And this is particularly, real for teenage girls who also need to face challenges about the figure so, dying with Anorexia or Bulimia is in some sort of way another kind of suicide.
And when I admired Kate Spade’s work during all my life while I work in the publishing industry, her case says a lot about how we can sadly see a person with so much talent, opportunities, family and success had to face a tragic end for her life. I remembered walking in the famous store with her logo in the entrance, in Sydney last February, and seeing a beautiful black dress full of poppies. I did not buy it but I believe this is a relevant example of how many talented and marvelous people is lost each year because there was not a person listening them. With Anthony Bourdain we saw the same happening, and it is devastating, another talented person, who did not only entertained us but taught us. What else do we need to see to understand something is wrong?
When will we use technology to diminish the rate of people who kill themselves because the truth behind depression and suicide is most of the time, the person suffering feels the weight of the world over their shoulders in a literal way. Beyond what is really happening outside, it is an inner issue so, when you had achieved so much in your life people could say why did you feel sad? You got everything anybody could dream about. First, we should stop believing that having a depression is something that happened only to lonely people or unemployed, or unsuccessful people.
Everyone can be a victim of this kind of state.
If you have suicidal thoughts or another issues like Anorexia or Bulimia, you can call Lifeline in Sydney, Australia 11 13 14, chat on their website or you can talk with your family, siblings or friends. If you are in the United States, The National Suicide Prevention is 1-800-273-TALK . Meanwhile in France, Spain and The United Kingdom the phone numbers are:
Phone: 01 42 96 26 26
Teléfono de la Esperanza
United Kingdom / Ireland
Phone: 08457 90 90 90 (UK)
Phone: 1850 60 90 90 (Republic of Ireland)
If you are in another country, you can check this list: Global Hotline for helping prevent suicides.