Many residents across Los Angeles County are mourning the recent deaths of well-loved personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. Suicide among such talented and outwardly successful individuals reminds us that personal struggles are often hidden from public view.
These losses have sparked conversations on social media and in person in which individuals are beginning to reveal their own struggles. These conversations are vital opportunities to offer support and compassion to others and to seek support for ourselves.
The Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health and Mental Health urge the public to learn more about suicide risk factors. The latest data show that more Los Angeles County residents die by suicide than from homicides, car crashes or unintentional drug overdoses.
“Suicide is devastating, and we all need to come together to reduce stigma and ensure that it is easy for anyone to connect to support,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
“We urge everyone to take time to learn about the warning signs of suicide and how each of us can help someone who may be at risk,” she said. “Resources are available to help people in need of support.”
“The Department of Mental Health is deeply concerned about the incidence of suicide which is too high locally, statewide and nationally,” said Jonathan E. Sherin, MD, PhD, director, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
“We take each life lost to suicide very seriously and are focusing on prevention efforts across populations at risk,” he said. “On that note, we must pay attention to the key lesson learned when we are witness to suicide in such outwardly successful icons as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain; inner suffering is too often hidden and it is our duty as a society to help release it through a culture that encourages those in pain to reach out for help.”
Suicide Prevention Resources
National Suicide Prevention Center Hotline*
*The key resource for anyone who is actively suicidal or attempting to help someone who is (Veterans and military families, Press 1.)
Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center
Los Angeles County Youth Suicide Prevention Project
American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Resources for Specific Populations
TREVOR Project (LGBT Youth)
Read more about the nation’s rising suicide rate from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.