Fashion designer Kate Spade's reported suicide draws renewed focus on mental health

The husband of fashion designer Kate Spade said in a statement the 55-year-old designer's death by apparent suicide June 5 may have resulted from her ongoing struggle with mental illness.

The New York Times published a statement by Andy Spade June 6. Mr. Spade confirmed Ms. Spade had suffered from anxiety and depression, and said the couple had been living separately for 10 months prior to her death.

"Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. … She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety. There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems," Mr. Spade said.

Ms. Spade's body was discovered by her housekeeper in her New York apartment June 5, police said. The designer reportedly left a note for her 13-year-old daughter stating her death was not the girl's fault, CBS News reports.

"The contents of that note as well as the physical state of the apartment and the comments of the witness lend to the credibility that it is an apparent suicide," New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.

The designer's death has raised numerous discussions among the medical community about mental health awareness. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., with just under 45,000 individuals dying by suicide each year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The organization also offered condolences to the designer's family in a June 5 statement: "There is never a single cause for suicide. Suicide is the result of many factors that come together such as an underlying mental health condition, life stressors, and access to lethal means. We must do more to prevent such tragic deaths through greater awareness of mental health, common risks and warning signs, and effective interventions and treatments."

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