NEW ORLEANS- The death of designer Kate Spade came as a shock and devastating loss to many, not only in the nation, but around the world.
Dr. Graham Spruiell, Assistant Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at LSU School of Public Health says he noticed a growing number of suicides over the past two decades, particularly among women.
"Since 1999, the suicide rate has gone up fairly significantly. And one of the interesting aspects of it is that women are committing suicide more," Spruiell said. "It may have to do with the shift in roles in women becoming more involved in work and professional activities and the pressures associated with that. Along with maintaining a family and having relationships with your children," Spruiell said.
"It's severely underreported. I think because people who are experiencing those kids of thoughts are often unlikely to tell people because they are afraid of what's going to happen," Erin Shapiro, Staff Counselor at Loyola University said.
Shapiro says there are several warning signs to look for. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and oftentimes, it goes untreated.
"People who are talking about death a lot. Talking about euphemisms like not wanting to go on. Feeling like they're at the end of their rope. They're really exhausted. Those kinds of things," Shapiro said.
Parker Sternbergh at Tulane University's School of Social Work also deals with people who have trauma and addiction issues. She says one things she gives her client is a template that helps them remember the progress they've made after helping them voice their frustrations.
"If they leave it by the side of their bed, it can give them an immediate number to call. It can remind them when they're overwhelmed what to do," Sternbergh said.
Suicide can affect anyone at any age, but it's helping those we love cope with their sadness or depression that can really help change their life.
"People have this idea that people who are committing suicide are super super impulsive. And that's not always the case. And they're really struggling. They're really courageous. They're trying to stay with us, but it's the pain that's just so overwhelming sometimes," Sternbergh said.
If you are looking for a number to call, The National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-273-TALK.
It's free to call and available 24 hours a day.
Officials can also direct you to call local centers where you can also get help.
A patient safety plan template can be found below: