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Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network issues statement after fashion designer Kate Spade’s suicide


Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network issues statement after fashion designer Kate Spade’s suicide

The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) wishes to convey its sympathies on the loss Kate Spade, American fashion designer and businesswoman, who died Tuesday at the age of 55 from a reported suicide.

In any given day, three Tennesseans lose their life to suicide. Statistics show that 28 women die by suicide every day in the US and over 10,200 women take their own lives each year (CDC, 2017).

For middle-aged women, suicide remains among the top 10 leading causes of death. While the suicide rate is rising consistently across demographic groups, risk peaks for women in middle age. There was a 127.67 percent increase in suicide deaths of women aged 45-64 between 1999 and 2016 (CDC, 2017). According to the CDC, 4,253 women from this age group died from suicide in 2016.

“Current research suggests that each death by suicide affects an average of 147 people who knew or were close to the deceased,” says TSPN Executive Director Scott Ridgway.

“An average of twenty-five of these survivors experiencing a major life disruption. These survivors, often family members and close friends may be impaired in basic day-to-day functioning, with increased risk of developing depression or post-traumatic disorder. They are also at higher risk for considering or attempting suicide.”

The American Association of Suicidology offers SOS: A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide, a free guide written by a survivor for survivors that addresses the complicated aspects of suicide grief and loss, available here.

Additionally, many communities have a support group dedicated to suicide grief, providing additional insights and support sometimes not available in conventional grief support groups. TSPN maintains a list of such groups across Tennessee on its website.

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