With a lot of high profile celebrities ending their lives, there has been more emphasis than ever on people at risk for suicide. For many rock fans, it was a big shock when Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington ended his life.
Bennington committed suicide several months after Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell ended his life, and Bennington ended his life on what would have been Cornell’s fifty-third birthday. A year later, the families and bandmates of both musicians are still trying to pick up the pieces.
Linkin Park Mike Shinoda Paying Tribute to His Fallen Comrade
Linkin Park guitarist Mike Shinoda is currently on a solo tour where he’s hoping to celebrate Bennington’s memory, and he told The Guardian, “Each night we’ve been creating this forum for people to get together,” and as this report explains, “Striking a balance between reflective and celebratory [on Chester’s life] is important to [Shinoda].”
The fact that Shinoda still carrying on creating music is important to the fans. When he meets fans backstage, “The sentiment is usually, ‘Thank you for the music, thank you for carrying on, the new album is helping me, seeing you on stage let’s me know that I can carry on…Different people deal in different ways. My coping style is staying in motion, through music and art.”
Earlier this year, Bennington’s widow Talinda launched her own mental health awareness campaign, and one of her biggest goals is to help break down the stigma that many have about mental health issues.
She told the New Music Express, “The passing of my husband cannot be in vain. His passing was a catalyst for opening up dialogue with respect to emotional and mental health…It’s up to us to change the way we think of mental health, to acknowledge that everyone has their own mental health to care for, and to end stigma and shame when we need to seek help for it.”
The Music Business Reacts and Musicians Seek Help
Thankfully anxiety, depression and addiction no longer have to be a secret shame, and these days more musicians have been speaking out than ever.
For far too long, the mental health of musicians has been overlooked. But with many musicians struggling with their mental health and succumbing to depression and addiction, the industry can’t look the other way any longer.
In recent years, there have been efforts made to get musicians the mental health help that they need. After two hip-hop artists died, Avicii and Lil Peep, music manager Nick Jarjour told Variety, “The music industry needs to do a better job at treating mental illness among musicians, artists, writers, producers and professionals.”
An organization formed in England, Help Musicians UK, also found that out of 2,000 musicians they polled, 71% of them have trouble with anxiety, and over 68% of them struggle with depression.
Awareness if the first step. A lot of artists have been very candid with the public about their mental health struggles, and this will hopefully continue to reduce the stigma, and embolden more people to get help and get better.