10 Powerful Messages From Celebrities After Last Week's High-Profile Suicides


Last week was a heavy one.

We found out on Friday that Anthony Bourdain, chef and popular TV personality, had taken his own life. This was after many of us were still processing and mourning the suicide of well-known designer Kate Spade.

Losing people we admire — and the non-stop and sometimes sensationalistic coverage that often follows it — can feel overwhelming. That’s why we appreciate celebrities who have used their platforms to spread positive messages about suicide prevention and mental health. Here are some of the takeaways that stood out to us.

Let’s keep talking about suicide. No one deserves to suffer in silence.

1. Model Chrissy Teigen reminded us that suicide prevention hotlines — although important — aren’t for everyone.

2. Linkin Park band member Mike Shinoda told us we don’t have to click on things that make us feel bad.

3. Comedian Patton Oswalt emphasized the importance of reaching out.

4. Singer Josh Groban reminded us that others people understand what we’re going through.

5. Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold shared what helped him when he was actively suicidal.

I’ll try this again: in thinking about the deaths of Bourdain and Spade, I made a post earlier today about suicide and mental health. Some comments felt I was being unsympathetic towards the mentally ill or suicidal, so I’d like to rephrase and provide more context for what I was trying to say. During a period a few years ago when I was dangerously and actively suicidal, my respect for my loved ones and my knowledge of the pain I would cause them was, truly and with no overstatement, the only effective thought I had at my disposal to prevent myself from acting. I was not saying suicide is selfish in my post. I don’t believe that. I can’t know firsthand another’s interiority, and I also have never had personal experience with a friend or loved one suffering from a truly debilitating psychological disorder. I was not speaking for all who struggle with mental health, just relaying my own lessons and conclusions following years of unwanted destructive mental activity, consistent therapy, medication, and active concerted effort towards self knowledge and education. The reason it makes me uncomfortable to see suicide lionized is because suicide has been an at-many-times daily part of my psychic reality, even still. It follows me around. When artists are made legends through suicide, I know that some segment of the impressionable population internalizes this as justification for the act. I know this because I have overcome this exact delusion. It makes me uncomfortable being more explicit, but some of the feedback made me feel the need… I am definitely unqualified to discuss the mental health of others, but it follows that so too is anyone else unqualified to judge my psychic reality and assume that this has not been an unwelcome and pernicious facet of my own lived experience, one that I’ve devoted much effort and resources towards addressing. I can say I took a break between albums to “go back to school” in interviews, but that isn’t the whole story. I have nothing but empathy for anyone struggling, and I really hope people get the help they need, and that we all make ourselves available to those close to us who need us.

A post shared by Robin N. Pecknold (@robinpecknold) on

6. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson‏ came in with a reminder about how precious life is.

7. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda told us to stay.

9. Actress and writer Mara Wilson had a short but important message we want to shout from a rooftop.

10. Chef Gordan Ransay reminded us that help is only a phone call away.

What are some messages that inspired you this week? Tell us in the comments below.


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