Suicide Hotline Calls Spiked 25% After Kate Spade's Death

Calls to the the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline rose by 25% as the high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain captured public attention.

The hotline number – (800)273-8255 – has been widely shared across social media in the last week – with celebrities, news outlets and advocates urging people who have suicidal thoughts to call.

Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead last Tuesday in her New York home in an apparent suicide. She was 55. Bourdain, celebrity chef and host of CNN’s Parts Unknown was found dead in in a hotel room in France Friday morning from an apparent suicide. He was 61.

Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline jumped 25% in the two days after Spade’s death, compared with the same period the previous week, John Draper, the group’s director, told the Wall Street Journal.

The lifeline connects to a free suicide prevention network of over 160 local crisis centers. Callers are immediately routed to the nearest crisis center where they can speak to trained counselors.

Draper said calls to the lifeline can spike following celebrity suicides because of a “collective sense of loss that many people feel.”

“The research is really clear that these calls have been shown to reduce emotional distress and suicidal crisis,” Draper told the Journal.