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Death of Kate Spade a reminder that depression doesn’t discriminate

ST. LOUIS - Fashion mogul Kate Spade died Tuesday morning after an apparent suicide. She was 55.

The Missouri native built an empire on her designer handbags and other accessories known for being vibrant and outgoing, but health experts say even those that may seem like they have it all can still struggle with depression.

Depression does not discriminate.

“We all know someone but that someone could also be us," said one woman.

Spade's death is a grim reminder of that reality.

“It kind of shows that she was able to mask what was going on inside of her, even though she made colorful, bright, classic things and led a successful business, you can still have things going wrong and suffering," said another woman. "I think people with mental health issues they always show a brave face until they can’t do it anymore."

Jane Smith, the Director of Provident Life Crisis Services, said at some point in life one out of five people will struggle with a mental illness so it’s important to check in with family, friends, and coworkers if you notice they’re acting out of character.

“We want people to ask the question. 'You know I’m concerned about you, you seem different. Have you been having any thoughts of suicide?' Many many suicide people tell us they are so relieved to have somebody ask him that question," Smith said.

Smith says the suicide rates for women have been on the rise over the last few years as well as for young people and researchers are looking into the reasons why.

“There is research and conclusive data showing that the more time people spend online the higher the rates of anxiety depression and suicide and so we do know there’s a correlation there. We’re also a society that has ready access to firearms and those are especially deadly lethal in terms of suicide, so that’s half of all suicides here by firearm," Smith said.

Smith said generally after well-known public figures commit suicide, often times their call volume goes up. If you or someone you know needs help there’s a 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-8255.