Today (March 20) is late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington’s birthday, and it’s being celebrated to help promote mental health awareness.
Bennington’s widow, Talinda Bennington, is spearheading an online campaign for fans to spread around the world.
“On Chester’s birthday, I ask that you post a picture of yourself holding up your hand, which symbolizes you know the Five Signs,” she said in a press statement, referring to the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering & the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being. The five healthy habits are: Take Care, Check In, Engage, Relax and Know. The five sings of suffering are: Personality Change, Agitated, Withdrawl, Poor Self-Care and Hopelessness.
“Write “I AM THE CHANGE” on your hand and please use #320ChangesDirection,” Talinda continued. “Because we are the change in our mental health culture. Every one of us is changing it by sharing your thoughts, offering support, and by simply being aware that we have our mental health to care for. It’s up to us to change the way we think of mental health, to acknowledge that everyone has their own mental health to care for, and to end stigma and shame when we need to seek help for it.”
Talinda went on KROQ-FM’s The Kevin & Bean Show in L.A. this morning to talk about the initiative and how she became such a vocal proponent for mental health.
“It wasn’t my plan, I thought I was done—I was married, I had my family, I was living life. I was perfectly content,” she revealed. “When my husband passed, I felt this enormous responsibility to make his death mean something. He can’t just be another rock star gone wrong, another tragedy.”
Watch the full interview clip below.
Linking Park’s Mike Shinoda jumped on Instagram to show his support of the cause by sharing his own “I am the change” photo.
“Proud of Talinda for her love, strength, and for her commitment to changing the way we view mental health,” Shinoda captioned the photo. “Being honest in conversation about how we feel—and accepting in the answers and stories we hear—are great steps.”
“Wishing a happy birthday to our brother Chester Bennington today,” shared Linkin Park on the band’s official Instagram account. “In his honor, we are launching a fundraiser on our Facebook page via Muic for Relief’s ONE MORE LIGHT FUND, benefiting #320ChangesDirection.”
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