Mental health is wealth. Unfortunately though, that message only tends to become clearer when a tragic death occurs. This week, the world lost the lives of fashion designer Kate Spade and, as announced earlier today (June 8), Anthony Bourdain, both to apparent suicide. The renegade chef, who brought the world into our living rooms with his CNN series Parts Unknown and boundless curiosity, was found unresponsive while in Paris where he was working on an upcoming episode of the hit show. But with each tragic passing comes a heightened urgency on mental health.
It's a topic that has remained taboo for far too long and, considering the amount of lives lost on a daily basis, mental health is as important as any other form of health awareness—maybe even more. In April, the music world attempted to grapple with the suicide of acclaimed Swedish DJ Avicii, born Tim Berling, and it was almost a year ago that Linkin Park's Chester Bennington took his own life. Earlier this year, Bow Wow discussed his bouts with suicidal thoughts, as did singer Lil Mo.
"It's never been about people. One of my biggest battles and one of my biggest enemies has always been myself," she unveiled to REVOLT. The same sentiments were shared by Bryson Tiller, who took to Twitter last month to reveal that he suffered from depression during the making of his last album, eerily titled True to Self.
According to stats, in a report by CBS News, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and is also just one of three leading causes that are on the rise. "Unfortunately, our data show that the problem is getting worse," CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., said in the reported press briefing.
While prevention efforts are out there and aimed at identifying and providing treatment for people with mental disorders, it's also important for us to communicate. Look after your friends and loved ones to make sure they're okay; try to be a light for them as an outlet for their issues; move through your day with the awareness that people all have issues we're dealing with.
The death of Bourdain ushered in an echoing of those same sentiments on social media, as many from celebrities shared their grief and reiterated the focus of self.
“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him. pic.twitter.com/orEXIaEMZM— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 8, 2018
Anthony. One of my idols. Unapologetic, passionate and one of the best storytellers on the planet. Thank you for making food so exciting. And always standing up for everything right. Horrible. Why why why. Be at peace now :(— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) June 8, 2018
Retweeting myself on this sad day learning @Bourdain is gone. As Im a fan of his i was delighted to meet and pick his brian off camera like he did mines on & he knew my whole story. Hoping they air the episode we did and Im sure his shows will live in re-runs forever. https://t.co/cKD9677bXT— FAB 5 FREDDY (@FABNEWYORK) June 8, 2018
We asked very simple questions. What makes you happy? - Anthony Bourdain.— PHAROAHE ❄️ MONCH (@pharoahemonch) June 8, 2018
I wanted to be Anthony when I grew up. He was smart, passionate, curious, truthful, self-reflective, generous with his ideas and with his time, always trying to be a better version of himself.— Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) June 8, 2018
He was an idol of mine. I truly admired and loved him.
For immediate help if you are in a crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential.