I woke up early this morning to read the news that Anthony Bourdain has died by suicide. I had trouble wrapping my mind around it. I just sat up on the side of the bed and sobbed. I felt this incredible sadness at the tragic loss of one of my personal heroes. And this following the death of Kate Spade earlier in the week.
When I first discovered Anthony Bourdain’s work, I was grateful. I was blown away by his authenticity, his writing, his brilliance, and his curious and passionate approach toward food, travel, culture, and life. He was an amazing storyteller and a generous human being, who seemed to genuinely respect the inherent dignity and worth of the people he encountered on his adventures, no matter their circumstances. I admired that greatly. His resilience and fearlessness inspired me. And his ability to connect with others over a simple, shared meal was a rare and beautiful gift. I am so sad to think that he is no longer with us and I can’t imagine what his loved ones are experiencing today.
According to the World Health Organization, “close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds,” and “there are indications that for each adult who die[s] of suicide there may [be] more than 20 others attempting suicide.” Suicide is complicated, and a major public health concern, but it is preventable. There is hope. Help is available and you and your loved ones always deserve to get the help that you need.
If you are considering suicide, are in crisis, or are struggling emotionally, or you know someone who is, please call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls to the Lifeline are confidential. You can also contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency.
Here are some other resources:
— Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1
— Crisis Text Line: text START to 741-741. Counselors are available 24/7 to have a confidential text conversation.
— TrevorLifeline: a suicide prevention counseling service for the LGBTQ community.
— Help for Mental Illnesses: National Institute of Mental Health website: www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp
— Treatment Referral Routing Service: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
— If you are outside of the US and have questions, or are in need of support, you can find a worldwide directory of resources and international hotlines on the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s website: https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/.
— If you would like to learn more about some of the warning signs that may help you determine if someone you know is at risk for suicide, and about how you might be able to help, please visit: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-someone-else/.
And if, for whatever reasons, you may be doubting this today, please know that you are not alone, even if it may feel like you are. If you’re struggling today, please reach out to someone you can trust, or contact one of the organizations listed above. Your life is precious, you matter, and things can get better.
Rest in peace, Mr. Bourdain. You will be dearly missed.