It’s been almost five years since Melissa Rivers‘ beloved mother, Joan Rivers, tragically passed away in September 2014 at age 81 due to fatal complications from throat surgery. Although Joan is no longer with us, Melissa, 51, revealed to Closer Weekly in an exclusive new interview that she still feels her famous mom’s presence all the time.
“Do you know who my mother is?” Melissa joked. “Man, I can count the days where I don’t on one hand.” The actress, author and TV host also gushed to Closer that her 18-year-old son, Cooper, is carrying on her mom Joan and late father Edgar Rosenberg‘s legacy in many special ways. “I think my son has a tremendous sense of empathy which I like to think he got from me and my mom and my dad. I love that he has humor. Sadly he does not inherit my love of shopping,” she said.
The Fashion Police star — who lost her father to suicide when she was just a teenager — recently joined the Board of Directors of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, home to the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center and a leading LA-based nonprofit.
Melissa explained that she decided to join the organization after the huge impact her father’s 1987 death had on her. “It changed everything. You know, it’s such an unnatural cause of death so I just feel like … I think what started — my mom and I were two of the first well-known people to come out and speak publicly about suicide and people who survive losing a loved one, and about suicide prevention. We came out not whispering but roaring about it.”
The brunette beauty continued, “It’s pretty amazing that something that was born for me out of so much anger in not allowing myself to be stigmatized and getting, unfortunately, for a lot of people, in their faces, about a lot of the misconceptions and stigma that surrounds suicide has now turned into something that has become a driving force in my life and has now become something that is so positive.”
Melissa even shared her advice for those struggling or know someone struggling with depression. “Reach out. There’s help,” she said. “Mental health issues and specifically what I focus on the most is suicide prevention from people who have been left behind from people who have committed suicide. You are not alone. Reach out. Get help! Call a hotline! You know, talk to someone. There is absolutely no reason to feel isolated and alone because you’re not.”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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