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Kate Spade NY donate $1 million to support mental health in honor of its founder

The company has already pledged $1 million to mental health charities.
by Zoe Weiner / / Source: Today
Kate Spade
Kate Spade's death highlights an alarming mental health trend.Evan Agostini / Getty Images

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In the wake of the tragic news of Kate Spade’s death, her namesake company has decided to spring into action. On Wednesday, Kate Spade New York posted to Instagram, sharing their pledge to support mental health and suicide prevention.

“In honor of our company founder, kate spade, our foundation is donating over $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes, starting with $250,000 to the @crisistextline,” the brand wrote in the caption. From June 20 through July 29, they’ve also pledged to match all public donations to the crisis text line, which means there’s the potential for another $200,000 to be raised for the organization if others step up to donate. To make your own donation, click here.

Spade committed suicide earlier this month, and is survived by her husband, Andy Spade, and their 13-year-old daughter, Frances. Her husband said in a statement at the time that the iconic designer had been struggling from anxiety and depression, but that the suicide shocked even those closest to her. Three days later, famed chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain also committed suicide. Their deaths reignited the conversation about the mental health crisis, and reading through the comments on Kate Spade NY’s recent Instagram post make it clear that others, too, have been inspired to spring into action.

"I am a Mother who lives with depression and anxiety. I am also a lover of fashion and a loyal Kate Spade customer. I will be making a donation today," wrote one user.

"Incredible. Making my donation now," wrote another, echoing the sentiments of many.

"I felt so broken, almost as if I lost someone close to me," illustrator April Meullion, whose own work was inspired by Spade's designs, told TODAY Style. "I donated right away. The fact that they even thought to do it really encouraged me as well. I know when there’s that much grief you feel helpless and you look for an outlet; some way to make something positive come from it; to make a difference in all of it so this helped me resolve those types of emotions."

In addition to the donations, Kate Spade New York has put forth a “wellness program” that will roll out in a few months, which includes a Global Mental Health Awareness Day and a curriculum to educate employees about “common risks and warning signs” related to mental health and how to effectively intervene when necessary, the company confirmed.

“Mental health does not discriminate; it is complicated and difficult to diagnose and can often be life-threatening,” Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of Kate Spade New York, said ina statement. “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.”

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