Calls to suicide prevention hotline increase after Bourdain, Spade suicides

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A newly released report says suicide rates are up twenty-five percent over the past twenty years.

That report comes on the heels of two well-known celebrities taking their lives this week.

Chef, author, and storyteller Anthony Bourdain was found unresponsive in a hotel in France Friday morning.

He was dead at 61 and leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter.

Bourdain's death was caused by suicide.

His death comes just a few days after the suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade.

Police say she hanged herself inside her New York apartment.

Folks at the Crisis Center in Birmingham say whenever a public figure takes their life it can certainly cause others who may have been considering it to think about it even more.

Abby Litovski is over the center's crisis and suicide line program and says since news of the suicides came out, they have certainly gotten an increase in calls this week.

She says the calls have come from folks who may be having feelings of wanting to end their own life as well as from family and friends who are concerned about their loved ones.

For those who are contemplating suicide, Litovski says they try to connect them with resources like counselors, even hospitals if necessary.

And they also try to help them realize there is someone who cares and that there are other options.

"I think when someone considers suicide they think it's their only option and it's a scary option but the pain they're going through has gotten them to that place," Litovski says.

"So we want them to know whatever they're going through is valid, that the pain is valid, but there's help out there.  There's people out there like us who want to help and this is never your only option."

If you are in need of help, the local suicide prevention hotline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

That number is 205-323-7777.

The National Suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255 or you can text "HOME" to 7-4-1-7-4-1.

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