Chester Bennington’s Wife To Celebrate His Birthday With Mental Health Awareness Initiative

By Diana Samson | Mar 08, 2018 06:09 AM EST
Chester Bennington of Linkin Park The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show in 2017. For his upcoming birthday, his widow Talinda Bennington wants to raise awareness for mental health and erase the stigma around depression and substance abuse. Her nonprofit intiative will host a social media campaign on March 20. (Photo : Dimitrios Kambouris | Getty Images)

Talinda Bennington, widow of Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington, wants to raise awareness for mental health for her late husband's upcoming birthday.

On March 20, Chester, who died by suicide last year, would have been 42 years old. To honor his life and his legacy, Talinda wants his fans to remember the rockstar by joining a social media campaign for 320 Changes Direction.

"To honor [Chester's] B-day - I'm asking you to change Direction," she tweeted. "On March 20th, Post a pic holding up your hand, which symbolizes you know the 5 signs of emotional well-being. Write "I AM THE CHANGE" on your hand. [Because] the change begins within ourselves."

Mental Health Awareness Campaign

320 Changes Direction is an initiative that Talinda launched following the death of her husband last year. Through it, Talinda aims to change the stigma around mental illness and deliver easy access to people who could help.

Chester, too, suffered from depression and substance abuse throughout his life.

"I was uneducated about the challenges he faced and I wanted information — but finding answers to my questions and available help for our family was very difficult," Talinda said in a statement posted on the 320 Changes Direction website. "After my husband lost his battle with depression and addiction, I knew I had to make a change to the mental health landscape."

One of the campaigns of the initiative is to recognize the five signs of an emotional well-being: take care, check in, engage, relax, and know. 

Talinda is also filming a 320 Change Direction PSA that will be released soon. 

Chester Bennington's Depression And Suicide

In 2017, months before his untimely death, Bennington discussed his experience living with depression. The singer-songwriter compared his suicidal tendencies with living in a "bad neighborhood."

"My whole life, I've just felt a little off," he told Music Choice. " find myself getting into these patterns of behavior or thought - especially when I'm stuck up here [in my head]; I like to say that 'this is like a bad neighborhood, and I should not go walking alone."

Chester was found dead inside his home in the Palos Verdes Estates, California on July 20. He was 41 years old.

His death happened just a few months after his friend Chris Cornell, vocalist of Soundgarden and Audioslave, committed suicide. 


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