Everyone thought Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington was happy, days before he killed himself.
“Depression doesn’t have a face,” explained his wife Talinda Bennington. “My husband, when he passed, he was at his prime. He was at his best. He did not look like someone suicidal. He did not “look,” depressed.”
Chester battled depression and addiction for much of his adult life — he often incorporated these struggled into his music.
“He was so excited about the new album. He’d shared some songs with us,” said his sister Tobi Knehr. “He just seemed so full of life.”
Police found Chester’s body at his Los Angeles home on July 20, 2017. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline received 14% more calls the day news of his death was made public.
“I did not want his death to be in vain. We have a blended family with seven kids in all. They would all have to look back at their father’s death one day and I didn’t want it to be just another rock star tragedy gone wrong,” said Talinda. “The way they could understand it wasn’t their fault was to understand mental illness. To understand taking care of their mental health.”
Talinda co-founded 320 Changes Direction — a campaign that spreads awareness around mental health issues. The Campaign to Change Direction wants everyone to know potentially harmful signs to look out for in loved ones, including changes in personality, agitation, withdrawal, hopelessness and a decline in personal care.