Last year, Bennington died of suicide after battling depression and addiction for many years. On what would’ve been his birthday, his widow Talinda Bennington has announced that she’s starting a campaign to create more awareness around mental health struggles. “After my husband lost his battle with depression and addiction, I knew I had to make a change to the mental health landscape,” she wrote on the website of Change Direction, an organization that aims to “change the culture in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness.”
Talinda’s initiative, called 320 Changes Direction (in honor of Chester’s birthday, March 20), revolves around recognizing thes signs of struggling with mental well-being—whether it’s in someone else or in yourself. “not feeling like u? feeling agitated? r u withdrawn?” a poster asks, with links to Change Direction’s website. Another offers advice on how to stay healthy while battling mental health issues, like checking in with friends and family as well as reevaluating your relationships and making sure they’re in good places.
Of course there’s not one tell-tale sign of mental illness, or quick-fix solution to dealing with issues like depression and addiction. And the road to recovery is often not linear: Talinda and other friends of the late singer have said he was in high spirits before his suicide. But the point of 320 Changes Direction seems to be slightly different: No one benefits from staying quiet about their mental health challenges, but the tendency to hide is a hard one to shake, especially if the culture shames us for speaking up or needing help. It’s time to change that, and it’s nice to see Talinda working towards that, despite this huge loss.
Check out the signs her initiative made below.