Suicide Again Takes The Spotlight With Bourdain, Spade Deaths

Jun 14, 2018

Psychologists and others participated in a Spokane Public Radio panel discussion about suicide prevention in March 2017.
Credit Neesha Schrom Crosen/SPR

When news broke about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, I was stunned. I’ve admired Bourdain, watched his TV shows, even chafed a bit at some of his messages. His decision to end his own life didn’t surprise me, given the aura of independence he gave off. But it certainly got my attention.

Couple that with designer Kate Spade’s recent suicide and I find myself thinking about that old maxim about famous people dying in threes, except I don’t remember a case of trios dying by suicide. I found myself wondering in a dark moment, who’s going to be the third celebrity in this triad to end it all?

Suicide has shaken our society. The death of Washington State University football player Tyler Hilinski certainly put a human face to it. Many of us who never met him felt like we’d suffered some sort of personal loss.

And so, we’ll spend a good chunk of this show re-airing conversations we’ve had about suicide. First, a few excerpts from a discussion we had in our studio in January about grieving after a suicide and how even happy families aren’t spared. And then we’ll hear analysis from professionals from a 2017 Spokane Public Radio forum about suicide.

Our January discussion centered around one Spokane family led by community leader Phil Tyler and his wife, Meg Demand.