Last Friday, the 20th July 2018, marked one year since Chester Bennington sadly passed away. He committed suicide.
When I first heard the news I was in shock and my heart broke, he was only 41 years old. Chester had a phenomenal career. His band Linkin Park band which fans across the world adored (including myself) as well as being a loving husband and father.
Yet, he did not hide his mental health, his lyrics are filled with his experience and struggle with depression:
Heavy – Holding on, so much more than I can carry. I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down. If I just let go, I’d be set free. Holding on. Why is everything so heavy?
Somewhere I Belong – I had nothing to say, and I get lost in the nothingness inside of me, I let it all out to find that I’m not the only person with these things in mind. I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real. I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long.
Crawling – Crawling in my skin, these wounds they will not heal. Fear is how I fall, confusing what is real.
He gave many fans an escape and a release. Chester was brave enough to sing about feeling stuck in a dark place, feeling like there’s no way out, something so many people can relate to. Chester said in his last interview before his death: “Just getting up in the morning…was a struggle for me” Chester wife Talinda posted a video days before his passing, it was of him laughing and joking around, she said: ‘depression doesn’t have a face or a mood’.
Mental health awareness has made great progress over the years, however men’s mental health is still surrounded by negative stigma… ‘men shouldn’t talk about how they feel’ or ‘real men don’t cry’ which is just absurd!
In 2016 there were 5,668 suicides in Great Britain. Of the total number of suicides, 76% were males. Suicide was the most common cause of death for men under 45 and every week 83 men in the UK take their own life. Men are much less likely than women to seek help or advice for their mental health.
Chester’s passing should not be in vain, don’t be afraid to talk about how you feel. We all struggle with a form of mental health at some point in our lives, so does it really need to be something to be embarrassed or ashamed about? No matter your gender, age etc.
Always remember, no matter who you are, it’s okay to not be okay.
See the charity page set up by Linkin Park: http://musicforrelief.org/one-more-light-fund/
For any further help, advice or information on mental health please see the Mind website: https://www.mind.org.uk/