Matt Trask

Goodbye Anthony Bourdain

June 08, 2018 | 2 Minute Read

Im sitting at the airport ready to do something that now seems more timely: talking about mental health resources in tech. It is timely for two reasons:

  1. Kate Spade (famous fashion designer for those who don’t know) took her own life, and
  2. Anthony Bourdain (famous chef, tv personality and story teller) took his own life just this morning.

Kate Spade didn’t really resonate with me as much because if you see how I dress every day (jeans, v-neck shirt and flip flops) fashion isn’t high on the list of things I think I’m knowledgable about. However, ever since I worked in a restaurant and read Anthony’s book “Kitchen Confidential” I have enjoyed his stories. His show “No Reservations” was one of my favorites to binge, and even though he went to the one hot chicken place in Nashville I couldn’t stand, his Nashville show was still cool.

These people will be missed, and as Kate Spade’s family said they had no clue anything was wrong.

.. no clue anything was wrong.

As a society, especially men, we are taught to bottle our emotions, “man up” and get past the pain/hurt/whatever. We internalize these emotions and then and then have no outlet because its not cool for guys to cry, show emotion or anything. We need to change this. More importantly, we need be open with those people close to us in our lives. No one needs to suffer in silence. No one should come to the realization that suicide is the only option forward. Now, I don’t know what the cause behind Bourdain’s death is, but I can guess. I can guess about Spade’s as well (I think I heard something about finacial troubles, which is a huge problem in our society).

If you have a close friend who you know has gone close to suicide, or you think just needs to have someone to talk to, reach out to them. Social Media lets you peer into others lives, and you can pick up tell tale signs like frustration, hopelessness, and more. Don’t be the person to push boundaries, but let friends know that your phone is always on, DMs always open and you will be there to be the best frined you can be. We spend the formulative eyars of our lives building up friendships to watch them disappear after college and into adult hood, so spend a few minutes rekindling friendships that had faded and strengthening the ones you are. Friends are not (usually) trained mental health professionals, but they can be the gateway to you realizing you need something more.

As I go up to Kent, Ohio in a few hours to give a talk about how we are changing the way tech deals with mental health, I encourage people to reach out to friends and family and just let them know you are there for them. Let people know you care because you never know, that may be what someone needs to hear before they do something drastic.

RIP Anthony Bourdain.

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