This weekend marked two years since Chester Bennington of Linkin Park’s tragic suicide, so today for #MerchMonday I’m wearing my LP shirt as a reminder of his huge contribution to music, and how important mental health awareness is – especially in this industry.
So many people identify music as being a way they cope with their mental health struggles… But ironically the bands or artists behind the music which is helping so many, will often be dealing with their own demons. Spending months on the road touring, being away from their support networks and under pressure to record music which both their labels and fans are happy with… It’s no wonder many musicians are now speaking out about how hard it can be to cope. Listening back to Hybrid Theory this weekend, an album loved by so many, it has been a sad reminder of just how long Chester himself must have struggled.
But whilst his memory lives on through his fans and music, an important movement has also been created called #MAKECHESTERPROUD, which is working to try and end the stigmas associated with mental health, and help preventing suicide by raising awareness – many signs of which may not be apparent or obvious until it’s too late, especially in this day and age with social media being a “highlight reel” of smiles.
One way you can help is simply by taking note and sharing the below five signs from Change Direction, which may identify if someone is in emotional pain and might need help:
If you’re worried about a friend or loved one who may be showing any of these, try to speak to them and offer help. Do what you can to try support them, or if it’s serious and you feel out of your depth, perhaps try and encourage them to speak to a professional instead. Maybe they’re just going through a tough period – a break up, or they’ve lost their job… Or perhaps dealing with something more long-term – but even if it’s a quick chat over a coffee or a phone call to catch up, let them know they’re not alone.
Some contact details are here if you need help or want to speak to someone:
But otherwise, here’s just a general reminder that it’s okay to not be okay.