Going through a mental illness can be one of the most isolating and lonely feelings known to man. When you're in that state of mind it's hard to imagine that anyone could feel as bad as you do right then and there let alone have gone through something similar. Not only that, but many people will suffer in silence, avoiding speaking up or asking for help. Which, if anyone who's battled a mental illness would know, is not an uncommon feeling.
It's hard to speak up and ask for help, especially with something that feels so deeply personal and at times hard to describe. Many people find ways to cope and regain a balance in their lives. Many others never find that balance.
Roughly one year ago, on June 5, 2018, Kate Spade took her own life after battling depression and anxiety for nearly her entire life. It seemed completely out of the blue and nearly everyone was taken aback. But that's the nature of mental illness in some ways. We don't understand the severity or how deeply someone may have been struggling with their mental illness until it's too late.
The reality of mental health is often harrowing, especially when it comes to access to help. An increasing number of Americans are seeking help for a mental health condition but millions still remain with unmet needs or an undiagnosed condition. Many states with a mental health work provider workforce have only one worker for every four individuals requesting therapy.
But there are organizations across the nation who are working to make mental health care not only more accessible but affordable as well. The Kate Spade New York Foundation has just completed their $1 million donation pledge to mental health services such as The Jed Foundation and the Crisis Text Line.
Kate Spade's death, alongside those such as Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams, proved to many of us that mental health issues affect us all regardless of our wealth, fame or status. In the time following their deaths, I felt that we've become more honest with ourselves and worked hard to destigmatize mental health as a whole. Her death raised the conversation surrounding mental health to new levels that I don't think had previously been touched. Regardless, there's always more work to be done and we should all aspire to live in a world where those affected with these illnesses no longer feel alone.