We just heard the devastating news that Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life today. A father of six and an immensely talented musician, Chester’s suicide is a blow to millions - including suicide prevention advocates who are also music aficionados (and vice versa).
As the world reacts, here are a few talking points the public should know:
- Chester died by suicide on the birthday of his good friend, Soundgarden and Audioslave rocker Chris Cornell. What does this mean? In their grief, suicide loss survivors can be vulnerable to suicidal ideation themselves. Suicide results in a grief like no other - and calls for bereavement support like no other. Forefront runs a suicide bereavement support program called Forefront Cares, and our mantra is “Postvention is prevention.”
- As the news cycle plays out and has a double-impact on music fans still reeling from Cornell’s suicide, it is doubly important to be aware of resources. Post the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), local crisis hotlines, and be available to support loved ones. Please avoid sharing articles with sensationalized headlines, too much detail about the method of suicide, and which are lacking sidebars or content about resources and local crisis resources.
- A Korn guitarist has publicly reacted to Chester's death as the "cowardly way out," which stigmatizes suicide. The reality is much more complex: People who die by suicide want to end their overwhelming pain - not their lives, per se. They have reached a point where pain has vastly exceeded their coping resources.
- Suicide is a largely preventable cause of death, and the warning signs seemed to be in plain sight: Chester spoke publicly about battling depression throughout his life. Abuse and bullying were a theme in his childhood - making for extra risk factors. Looking for warning signs is the first part of the LEARN™ intervention steps.
Lastly, for music lovers: It may be worth listening to Logic’s rap song, 1-800-273-8255, to remember that there is always someone on the other end of the line who is ready to listen and help.