Since fashion designer Kate Spade passed away earlier this month, many have begun a push to normalize conversations about mental health.
The 55-year-old designer, who founded her eponymous brand over twenty years ago, took her own life.
Andy Spade, Kate’s husband and business partner, has made an official statement regarding his wife’s death. Mr. Spade stated that his wife had been dealing with depression and anxiety for some time preceding her death. Mr. Spade says that her death was a shock.
Following news of her passing, Spade’s namesake brand published a statement, stating that Ms. Spade would be “dearly missed.”
Now, the company, which Kate and Andy Spade departed from in 2007, has announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes.
The brand shared that it would be donating $250,000 of the sum to the Crisis Text Line. The company has also stated its intentions to match any donation made by the public, up to $100,000, by June 29th. It is currently still deciding where to donate the rest of the amount.
Anna Baskt, the president and CEO of the brand, spoke about the company’s contribution, stating:
“We hope that our support will shed more light on the disease and encourage those who suffer from mental health issues to seek help. Collectively, we must all do more.”
The brand has also spoken about its intention to increase awareness about mental health by adopting mental health awareness into its company policy. This will reportedly come in the form of a “Wellness Program.” Kate Spade employees working in both the company’s corporate and regional offices will have a “Mental Health Awareness Day.” The day will involve a program in which a curriculum on mental health is taught, including instructions on spotting potential warning signs as well as ways to intervene.
However, it should be noted that this is the first phase of what is said to be a much larger policy- one that should perhaps be replicated by all companies, and all workplaces.
As Bakst also stated, “Mental illness does not discriminate, it is complicated and difficult to diagnose and can often be life-threatening.”
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons