What Chester Bennington & Chris Cornell Can Teach Us About Suicide Prevention
Article contributed by: Jennifer Scott, spiritfinder.org
The morning of July 20th, 2017 started out like any other day. The summer sun was shining. Not a cloud in the sky. I’d been running errands and was outside enjoying the weather when I received the shocking phone call: Chester Bennington was dead.
The news hit like a punch in the gut. I couldn’t believe it. The Linkin Park frontman was more than just a celebrity to me. He was one of my favorite singers. Surely, this was just another celebrity death hoax… right?
Sadly, a quick Google search and a visit to Linkin Park’s website confirmed what I had feared the most: Chester Bennington was gone forever, having taken his own life at just 41 years old. Just two months earlier, Chester had lost his friend, Audioslave singer Chris Cornell, to suicide as well. Both friends had openly struggled with addiction and substance abuse for years, something that experts believe increases the risk of suicide. Chester took his own life on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.
In the days following his death, my Facebook feed included posts from grieving fans. They shared their loving memories, along with their shock and sadness. Chester’s fans and loved ones called for increased suicide prevention efforts, sharing crisis phone numbers, and calling out to the world to help prevent other tragedies like this one. His surviving Linkin Park bandmates even created a suicide prevention site in his memory.
One person commits suicide every fifteen minutes. If we do nothing to reverse this alarming trend by 2030, the World Health Organization believes depression and suicide will kill more people each year than cancer.
If you (or someone you know) are currently struggling with suicidal thoughts, it’s important to know where to get help. You never know who might be struggling so proactively let others know you care – and share the following suicide prevention strategies and resources.
Nonprofit suicide prevention resources are always ready to assist those in crisis. Here’s a list of hotlines available around the world. When it comes to ongoing (long-term) suicide prevention, it can be helpful to overcome any substance abuse or addiction issues. Instead, focus on activities that boost mental and emotional health – such as faith and religion, yoga, meditation, and more. Although the path to healing looks different for everyone, try to understand that it is about more than just yourself.
No family deserves to lose a loved one, and none of us deserve to live with levels of emotional pain that make us contemplate ending our own lives. If you or a loved one have been considering suicide, please know that there are other options available. Contact a suicide prevention hotline, confide in a loved one, or reach out to a trained professional. Locally, you can reach out to Colorado Crisis Services, and NAMI Arapahoe/Douglas Counties for support.
You don’t have to navigate the darkness alone. Together, we can make our way through the difficult times and get back to living a life of love and joy. Good luck.