On Tuesday, June 5th, fashion designer Kate Spade took her life in her home in New York. The comments on news articles of her death are filled with people reminiscing about how her fashion touched their lives, including this tweet from Chelsea Clinton: “My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends, and loved ones in my heart.”
Those loved ones left behind include her husband, Andy Spade, their adult daughter, Frances, and her brother-in-law, actor David Spade. Kate and David were close, on good and friendly terms.
“She was so sharp and quick on her feet,” David Spade said about her the day after her death, posting a family photo on his Instagram. “She could make me laugh so hard. I still can’t believe it. It’s a rough world out there people, try to hang on.”
He took a week off of his stand-up performances, then returned to work on Wednesday, June 13th. He did not use the opportunity to announce what he’s done in memorial of his sister-in-law; he quietly donated $100,000 to help others laboring with mental illness. His donation will support the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“More people suffer with mental health issues than we may realize, but no one should ever feel ashamed to reach out for support,” Spade told People Magazine when they discovered the donation. He went on to recommend seeking “help or guidance” from the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or nami.org.
In the United States, an estimated 45,000 people a year commit suicide, and there are more than a million attempts. Despite a reputation of being something teenagers do, the highest suicide rates are among adults over 50. With his donation, David Spade hopes that more resources will become available to all of those who are struggling.