LIFESTYLE

'End The Stigma': Linkin Park Frontman Suicide Sparks Mental Health Discussion

"Whether or not you do/did dig Linkin Park, I think we all need to agree it's beyond time to take mental health seriously".

21/07/2017 09:05 SAST | Updated 21/07/2017 09:09 SAST
Jumana El-Heloueh / Reuters

Heartfelt tributes for Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington surged on social media throughout the night, and along with these calls for stigma around mental health to come to end following confirmation his death was a suicide.

A Los Angeles County Coroner claimed Bennington, who achieved worldwide fame as the face of Linkin Park, had hanged himself, hours after being found in his California home on Thursday.

Bennington was said to be close to Chris Cornell, vocalist for Soundgarden, who in May also took his own life. Bennington died on what would have been Cornell's birthday.

Some of the social media posts drawing specific attention to stigma or lack of awareness around mental health came from high profile musicians and celebrities, and many others from ordinary people around the world in shock at news of his suicide.

Messages of condolences came from musicians and bands included Imagine Dragons, My Chemical Romance, Chance The Rapper, and many others shortly after the announcement.

Canadian sports broadcaster and professional wrestler Mauro Ranallo, a vocal advocate of raising awareness around mental health issues, spoke about how mental illness can affect anyone, irrespective of status. Ranallo was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 19.

Other messages from around the world flowed throughout the night, many of which drew attention to mental health issues.

'Crucial that people are educated'

About 300 million people worldwide of all ages experience depression, one mental health issue that is also the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the South African Federation for Mental Health.

"It is therefore crucial that people are educated about depression, and that all sectors of society are encouraged to speak openly and honestly about their experiences and struggles. Depression can affect anyone regardless of age, race, gender or socioeconomic status," the federation said in a recent press release addressing depression in specific.

Depression doesn't care about age, race, gender or status. It doesn't discriminate. Let those you care for know that you're there for them.

— Nickelback (@Nickelback) July 20, 2017

There are also many other types of mental health issues including, but not limited to, anxiety disorders, bipolar and related disorders, neurocognitive disorders and many others.

For more information on mental health visit the Mental Health Information Centre SA webpage here or the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) webpage here.

If you are in South Africa, having suicidal thoughts and in need of urgent assistance, call the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or SMS 31393.

Visit the SADAG webpage for additional emergency contact numbers.