The widow of Chester Bennington is continuing the legacy of her late husband with a new social media challenge to raise mental health awareness.
“I challenge you to do a 30-second video on why mental health is important to you,” Talinda Bennington said in a video posted on Instagram. “For me it’s very personal. And I’ve dedicated my life to change the culture surrounding mental health.”
Even though the Week To Change Direction Challenge was issued last Monday (June 10), people have continued to post videos to add to the conversation using the hashtag #ChangeDirection.
To kick things off, Talinda challenged Lisa Ling and Linkin Park band members Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn and bassist Dave Phoenix Farrell to post their own 30-second videos.
Actor Ken Jeong joined the conversation on his Instagram: “As a former physician having dealt with multiple cases of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, it’s important as a community that we all change direction, change our attitudes, evolve our attitudes towards mental health. We as a community should remind each other life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. And I challenge everyone to change direction.”
Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan made a video as well with singer-songwriter Shooter Jennings: “This is something we can all do something about… Learn to recognize the signs of people who are suffering.”
ABC Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton used her platform to shed light on maternal mental health: “The reason that I am passionate about mental health awareness is because it is a leading cause of maternal mortality in this country,” she said in her video. She encouraged women’s health care providers to speak to their patients about mental health.
Chester Bennington died by suicide in 2017. In the days prior to his death, the beloved Linkin Park vocalist—who long battled depression and substance use disorder stemming from trauma—showed no sign of what was to come, according to Talinda.
“This was not a time where we or any of our family suspected this to happen… We thought everything was OK,” she said in June of 2018.
Guitarist and friend Ryan Shuck said that Chester would detail his “hour-by-hour battle” with the urge to drink.
Since her husband’s passing, Talinda Bennington has channeled her pain to help expand the conversation about mental health. She engages with people on social media, encouraging meaningful dialogue by promoting hashtags like #FuckDepression and #MakeChesterProud.