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When Chester Bennington took his own life in 2017, his wife Talinda thought he was in a good place. And ever since, she’s been using her platform to raise awareness for others struggling with mental health and provide tools for them and their loved ones. She partnered with Give an Hour and the Campaign To Change Direction and launched 320 Changes Direction — an organization that honors the late Linkin Park frontman, whose birthday was March 20. Now, she’s culminating her efforts to launch the 320 Festival. The one-day event is set to take place at Los Angeles’ LA Live on May 9, 2020 and will feature a mental health summit, community festival, and benefit concert with “a-list talent” that has yet to be announced. All of the net proceeds will be donated to Give An Hour and a handful of non-profit partners. Get more information about the 320 festival here.
“The idea for 320 was born out of my personal experience and the recognition that we can do better to address the needs of those who are suffering with mental health concerns and addiction,” Talinda wrote in a statement. “For 13 years I watched my husband Chester struggle with depression and substance use. I often felt scared and alone. 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.”
“After my husband lost his battle with depression and addiction, I knew I had to make a change to the mental health landscape,” she continued. “I began speaking to as many mental health groups as I could find. Whitney Showler and Music For Relief have been very supportive and helpful on this journey.”
“So here is what I learned. We don’t need to create more programs – there are good ones out there. But we do need to do two things,” she added. “We need to streamline access to the help that IS available. And we need to change the culture of mental health so that those in need – and their family members – are able to speak openly about their struggles so that they can seek the care they deserve.”
Talinda and Chester got married in 2006 and had three kids together: 13-year-old Tyler Lee and eight-year-old twins Lily and Lila. In September, the widow announced she was engaged to a man named Michael F.