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  • M.A. Busby

Celebrity Suicide

Following the deaths of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, some news outlets have publicized suicide prevention hotline numbers on their front covers, albeit after the fact. A little more incisively, The Toronto Star’s Emma Teitel wrote on Kate Spade, “what’s shocked this grieving public most is not the reality that a successful businesswoman took her own life, but that the architect of such a loud, colourful brand was deeply depressed and suffered in silence.”

Several years ago I, along with about twenty-five others took a two-day program on suicide prevention. At the door, we were greeted by the facilitator who, under the aegis of anonymity, asked each of us to mark an ‘x’ on a slip of paper if we’d ever considered or made an attempt at suicide for ourselves. In a bid to garner some awareness in the room the facilitator took a few minutes to aggregate the results posting them at first break. From the twenty-five slips of paper came just one ‘x.’ In the moments that followed my hitherto protected, and intellectual notions of ‘isolation’ became visceral, changing how I come to understand suicide nowadays.

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