Within a one-week span, we lost an icon of the fashion world and another from the food world – both from suicide.
The deceased, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, are reminders that even those who appear to have it all – success, fame, money and fans – may suffer from depression too.
The organization I lead, the New York City Hospitality Alliance, recently hosted a panel discussion about supporting chefs, cooks and restaurant employees with mental illness, and those who struggle with alcohol and substance abuse. Among the panelists was the writer, Kat Kinsman, who tapped the desire of the restaurant community to vent their feelings, share their stories and lend support to each other when she launched her website, Chefs with Issues. Others have created initiatives to support people in our industry too, such as Ben’s Friends, an organization formed in honor of Chef Ben Murray, who took his own life after struggling with alcohol.