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Suicide Prevention In The Wake Of Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain's Deaths

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Two celebrity suicides this week have sparked national discussions surrounding suicide prevention. Kate Spade and Andrew Bourdain committed suicide days apart. It's being reported that both were in treatment.

The suicide rate continues to increase in almost every state in the U.S. each year. It's the 10th leading cause of death in Tennessee.

A local licensed therapist told Local 24 many people consider the topic of suicide to be taboo, but it needs to be discussed so people who are struggling can get help.

“I think people know what the warning signs are. I really do. I don't think people know what to do when they see those warning signs,” said Clara Glueck, supervisor for West TN's Crisis Services.

The suicides of Designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Andrew Bourdain have rocked the nation. It's being reported that both Spade and Bourdain were getting professional treatment, but Youth Villages counselor Clara Glueck says that isn't always enough.

“You are in treatment and that's great but that's not a cure-all,” said Glueck. “You still have to have the supports in your life that continue to check on you, continue to support you. Just continue to be around you. Making sure these people aren't alone.”

Common warning signs are changes in normal routine such as eating and sleeping patterns, changes in mood, and isolation from others.

Glueck says if you notice these signs in someone, ask questions.

“If they say, ‘yeah, I've had those thoughts before,’ then ask even more probing questions. ‘Do you know how you would do it? Or when you would do it? What would you use to do it?’,”said Glueck.

Glueck says specific answers to those questions can determine the severity of the situation and give the person a better chance of getting help before it's too late.

“It's a community, not just this one psychiatrist or psychologist or counselor,” said Glueck.

In Tennessee, one person dies by suicide every 8 hours. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. next to homicides.


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