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Kate Spade’s Family ‘Disgusted’ After Designer’s Sister Claims Suicide ‘Wasn’t Unexpected’: Source

It appears that fame and money don’t protect you from mental illness.

Kate Spade’s Family ‘Disgusted’ After Designer’s Sister Claims Suicide ‘Wasn’t Unexpected’: Source

Kate Spade‘s family are at odds after the late designer’s death on Tuesday at age 55.

Spade’s older sister Reta Brosnahan Saffo, 57, made statements to multiple outlets on Tuesday night saying she believes her sister suffered from a mental illness for a number of years and that Spade’s suicide “was not unexpected by me.”

However, a source close to the family claims Brosnahan Saffo has long been estranged from her designer sister, whom the source says was as a “kind, generous, funny, warm and extremely private person.”

“The family is disgusted and saddened that at this time of great sorrow, Kate’s sister who has been estranged from the entire family for more than 10 years would choose to surface with unsubstantiated comments,” the source said to PEOPLE. “Her statements paint a picture of someone who didn’t know her at all.”


Some mental health services are telling patients: ‘If you really wanted to kill yourself, you would have done it’

Like many others, Laura is made to feel like she is “attention seeking” and “manipulative” when she is suicidal or makes attempts on her life.

Some mental health services are telling patients: ‘If you really wanted to kill yourself, you would have done it’

When people do get to access crisis care, many feel that the emphasis is on getting rid of them as quickly as possible. Psychiatric inpatients have even been told to phone the Samaritans if they wish to talk

Jay Watts 4 days ago

People are encouraged to seek help if they are feeling suicidal like never before. Yet a deadly new mix of funding cuts and dangerous ideas about suicide are leaving many people with long-term conditions at greater risk.

Tom is 22 and has made a couple of serious attempts on his life following prolonged periods of depression. “When I regained consciousness after the last attempt”, he said, “I was told ‘If you really want to kill yourself, you would have done it’.” Tom, like many other people, feels like when he now contacts the crisis team, they treat him brusquely. “It is like they will only take me seriously if I actually die”, he continued. “I am told again and again ‘well if you really want to kill yourself, that’s your choice’.”

We are not talking about nuanced Schopenhauerian conversations about the right to die here. In the context of deep despair, the idea of choice is a deadly one, absolving the other party from doing everything they can to help the person in pain. If one is suicidal it is very difficult to feel any hope that things might change; one is often exhausted. It is crucial that hope is held actively by mental health professionals at these bleakest moments in a life.

Yet the idea of choice is being used increasingly to rebuff those who seek help when suicidal, a discursive move that an increasingly burnout mental health workforce appears to be using more often. This makes those suffering feel rejected and further alienated – key trigger factors to suicide.

Laura, 60, has also made multiple attempts on her life. She has been told that she should “take responsibility” when she is feeling suicidal, an idea fuelled by the neoliberal discourse of rights and responsibilities which has taken hold of mental health services. “There is a strict management plan and boundaries in place”, she said. “I am allowed to call the crisis team three times a week, and the calls are time-limited. When I do call, I am only allowed to talk about the present not the past”, she says. “If I try to talk about anything else, or call at another time, I am told I am ‘threatening suicide’.”


Mental Health Bill: Rick Warren and Wife Kay ‘Grateful’ to Congress for Passing 21st Century Cures Act

Matthew had borderline personality disorder. In 2013, he shot himself to death using an unregistered gun he bought online.

Mental Health Bill: Rick Warren and Wife Kay ‘Grateful’ to Congress for Passing 21st Century Cures Act


Many rejoiced when the Senate recently passed the controversial 21st Century Cures Act, and pastor Rick Warren and his wife Kay were among them.

Rick and Kay, co-founders of California-based Saddleback Church, said they are thankful that the Cures Act was passed because they believe it will help save lives.

“We are so grateful that Congress passed the Cures Act, which invests in saving lives by addressing the opioid epidemic, cancer research, biomedical research, mental health reform, and the drug developmental process,” Rick and Kay said in a statement.

Having had a son who suffered from mental illness, the Warrens were especially grateful that the legislation will provide funding for mental health treatment.

“Mental health is a deeply personal issue for us because our son, Matthew, lived with mental illness for most of his life,” they said.

Matthew had borderline personality disorder. In 2013, he shot himself to death using an unregistered gun he bought online. It was a devastating time for the Warrens, during which they turned to the only comfort they knew: the Bible.

Since their son’s death, they became involved in raising awareness about mental illness. They also encourage communities to be more accepting of people suffering from mental illness.


Cats Again Get a Bad Rap in Toxoplasmosis Coverage

A study linking the disease to a psychiatric disorder marked by aggression didn’t include cats — but you’d never know it from the headlines.

Cats Again Get a Bad Rap in Toxoplasmosis Coverage

s.e. smith | Apr 20th 2016

Toxoplasmosis is back. A new study led by researchers from the University of Chicago links the disease with Intermittent Explosive Disorder, in which patients experience outbursts of extreme anger. Headlines such as “Could germ from cat poop trigger rage disorder in people?” and “Cats Might Be the Reason Some People Are So Terrible” are circulating, but this is not in fact a study about cats. It’s a study about toxoplasmosis and the parasite that causes it, Toxoplasma gondii.

The study ran ran in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, which has a rigorous peer-review process and has been published for more than 75 years. In other words, it carries some serious weight, and the researchers knew what they were doing. Put in layperson’s terms, the effort was building on existing studies (like this one from 2013 and another from 2015) suggesting that there was a correlation between T. gondii infection and psychiatric conditions. Specifically, researchers were curious to see whether the infection was associated with more aggressive behavior.

This study was published in 2016, drawing upon years of data, including blood samples that indicated whether patients have been infected with T. gondii. The extended collection period would have allowed researchers to get a big-picture finding and control for other factors that might influence personality and behavior. The study involved 358 patients including a control group, people diagnosed with Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and those with other mental health conditions. These are all sound research practices, and the recent publication date indicates that the study took advantage of the latest developments in psychiatry and clinical research.

Those involved in the study have noted a consistent link between suicidal behavior and impulsive aggression over the course of their research, and they were also aware of studies like the ones linked above suggesting that T. gondii is connected to aggression.


“We Didn’t Know How To Help”

We didn’t know how to help. Those six words resonate strongly and seem to be commonplace when discussing mental health, especially in family circles. From personal experience, it’s an emotionally draining and frustrating occurrence.

“We Didn’t Know How To Help”

Increased awareness critical when supporting a loved one with mental illness


NOVEMBER 10, 2015
Mental illness has historically been a difficult topic for discussion, for such reasons as a lack of knowledge of its effects or the naive belief that it’s a rarity even in today’s society.

Unfortunately, due to this rationale, public awareness isn’t as high as it could be. This is especially problematic for families who have a loved one struggling with their mental health.

As an example, in September 2014 I had a panic attack for the first time. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life, as I had no control over my body and no idea what to do next. Thankfully, my roommate at the time was there to help me through.

Not even two weeks later I had another panic attack, but this time I was alone. Scared and concerned for my safety, I turned to the only people I could think of that could help – my family.

Struggling for breath, I trekked down to my old home and crashed through the front door. By that time I could barely see, and proceeded to faint in the hallway.

When I woke up, I expected to be on a bed with my mother and father consoling me. That wasn’t the case. Instead, dazed and confused, the first thing I heard was their laughter.

It was during that evening that I realized something was wrong, and that mental health awareness needed to be a more prominent topic of discussion within families going forward.

The main thing that resonated with me was that my roommate knew exactly what to do when I was struggling, yet my family did not.


Mother who attempted suicide writes open letter to A&E staff saying “Stop judging me”

“When I attend your department I can guarantee it’s as a last resort. I’ll have spent up to an hour tending to my cuts, trying to dress them and have been mentally running through the pros and cons of presenting at A&E to seek help. (There are always more cons) I have never took that decision to attend lightly.”

Mother who attempted suicide writes open letter to A&E staff saying “Stop judging me”

James Connell

A MUM from Worcester who has attempted suicide several times has written an open letter to the city’s A&E department asking staff to show more compassion for people like her.

Mother-of-three Sasha Bailey-Dean who lives in Worcester city centre first tried to commit suicide when she was only eight years old and wants doctors and nurses in Worcester’s A&E to show more compassion and understanding for people who end up there because they have self-harmed.

During her life she has made five attempts on her life, sometimes using an overdose of prescription drugs, and at other times by self-inflicted injuries using blades.

She suffers from borderline personality disorder but says she is rarely treated with compassion at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester because her injuries may be self-inflicted.

However, she wanted to stress that she had received excellent care from the community mental health team and at Holt ward at the Elgar Unit in Worcester, managed by the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.

The 36-year-old, who runs a support site on Facebook called ‘Glitter & Hope’ for people with borderline personality disorder, said she wanted to provide a voice for other people who had self-harmed in the past.

Miss Bailey-Dean, who is receiving Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for her condition, said her letter was based on around nine or 10 visits to Worcester’s A&E when she had been treated by staff in an “unfortunate manner” because she has either self-harmed or attempted suicide.