Fashion

The Kate Spade Foundation is donating $1m to suicide prevention causes

Posted by
Chloe Mac Donnell
Published
Kate Spade

All funds will go towards suicide prevention and mental health projects.

The Kate Spade New York Foundation is to donate $1 million (£762,015) to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

Spade, who co-founded the company in 1993 but sold all of her shares in 2006, took her own life on 5 June at the age of 55.

In a statement posted on Instagram, the brand said: “In honour of our company founder, Kate Spade, we’re donating to mental health awareness causes. We’ll match your donations, too.” 

The donations will begin with $250,000 (£190,500) to the Crisis Text Line, and the brand will match public donations up to the amount of $100,000 (£76,200) made to the Crisis Text line between 20 and 29 June.

The Crisis Text line provides free, 24/7 support for people in crisis via text in the USA. By texting 741741, a person can be connected to a trained crisis counsellor.

Speaking to WWD, Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of Kate Spade New York, said: “Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest.

“We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy. The outpouring of love on social media and in our shops from customers of all ages has been overwhelming and moving, it is such a beautiful reflection of how much Kate was loved.”

Baskt added: “Mental health does not discriminate; it is complicated and difficult to diagnose and can often be life-threatening. We hope that our support will shed even more light on the disease and encourage those who suffer from mental health issues to seek help. Collectively, we must all do more.”

In addition to monetary donations, Kate Spade New York will host a Global Mental Health Awareness day for employees as the first instalment of a Wellness Program that will be rolled out across the brand in the coming months.

Kate Spade

The late Kate Spade photographed at her offices in 2002

Suicide is a delicate and complex subject, and the reasons behind it cannot be easily or fully quantified.

While you can never really generalise how struggling to cope can make you feel or act, the Samaritans in the UK have compiled a list of symptoms.


These include:

  • Lacking energy or feeling tired
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Feeling tearful
  • Not wanting to talk to or be with people
  • Not wanting to do things you usually enjoy
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things

If you think that these sound like you or someone you know, the charity has urged that you get in touch with them now.

Samaritans adds: “You don’t have to feel suicidal to get in touch. Only one person in five who calls Samaritans actually says that they feel suicidal.”

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.

Images: Getty Images