Crisis Hotline Activity Jumps After Spade and Bourdain Suicides

There was a sharp rise in calls and texts to U.S. mental health crisis hotlines after the suicide deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a 65 percent increase in calls to counselors at more than 150 crisis centers nationwide after the deaths of the two celebrities, Frances Gonzalez, director of communications, told CNN.

There was a 116 percent increase in messages to the Crisis Text Line, spokeswoman Liz Eddy said.

Rises in activity are normal after famous people take their own lives, Eddy told CNN.

Crisis hotlines are crucial, but there are many other aspects of suicide prevention, experts say.

"Hotlines and crisis intervention are essential, but too many people never share their risk -- let alone ask for help," Tony Salvatore, director of suicide prevention at Montgomery County Emergency Service, a nonprofit mental health crisis service in Norristown, Pennsylvania, told CNN.

He added that "suicide prevention is more than talking somebody out of taking their life."

Suicide prevention should be approached like heart disease prevention, Dr. Christine Moutier, a psychiatrist who is chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, told CNN.

Heart disease prevention doesn't focus solely on people who are about to suffer a massive heart attack, and suicide prevention efforts need to include helping people before they're on the verge of ending their lives, according to Moutier.

She called for increased suicide prevention education, improved health care coordination, and increased federal spending on research and programs, CNN reported.

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