I am not really into labels, I have never bought a Kate Spade bag, wallet or even a keychain. But even I have heard her story, I have seen her lovely designs. I know that she was celebrated for her whimsical touches and accessible style. I didn't know that she was living with depression.
I have heard of pop singer Selena Gomez. I know that she is living with lupus and recently had a kidney transplant. But I didn't know that Kate Spade was living with depression.
Movie actor Angelina Jolie was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and we all heard about her decision to have pre-emptive surgery a few years ago. But we didn't hear that Kate Spade had depression.
Michael J. Fox has been very public about living with Parkinson's Disease. He is a brilliant advocate for research and treatment. But, apparently, Kate Spade kept her illness from almost everyone - even her own family.
Tom Hanks revealed on a talk show that he has diabetes. He went public to share his experience and to encourage others to be tested. Kate Spade kept her depression a secret. Robin Williams also kept his depression a secret.
Kate and Robin both died because of their illness - they took their own lives.
As long as society continues to treat mental health issues as something to be ashamed of, as something to hide, people will continue to die of illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses.
We have huge fundraisers for cancer research and heart disease, and we have helped move closer to a cure. There are awareness campaigns for almost any illness you can think of, and many more people are getting earlier treatment, but until the Bell "Let's Talk" event started a few years ago, no one promoted mental health issues.
We have to bring mental health issues out from the shadows. We have to take the stigma away. We can be more supportive when friends and family share a diagnosis with us. Their lives are worth it.