Mental Health Issues Don't Discriminate And We Need To Talk About Them More
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Yesterday the horrific news broke that Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, had passed away following a reported suicide.
While the reports were very sad in their own right, they had another harrowing underlying message: mental health problems affect everyone, from all walks of life.
To younger people nowadays, Linkin Park may not seem like much of a big deal, but to many of those who came of age around the turn of the century, they're very important - musically and socially.
At one time Chester's voice was as recognisable as anyone else's in the business. Paired with the completely different vocals and raps of Michael Kenji Shinoda, over distorted guitars, heavy bass and synths and turntables, the band had a sound that placed them at the forefront of the nu-metal generation.
Their debut album, Hybrid Theory, is the type of record you'll hear a lot of people claiming to be the first CD they owned. That, with six other studio albums and the Collision Course album with Jay-Z, meant they were more than just a 'cult band'.
So why then has their esteemed frontman taken his own life? Well, the answer is simple - mental health doesn't discriminate.
If your friend, or anyone around you, is claiming that Chester's death is selfish, it's worth explaining the following to them: someone may be blessed with material wealth, popularity and album sales, but it does not instantly mean that the demons in their mind are any less than that of someone with none of those things.
"If anything, fame and wealth can cause more problems, mentally," Janine, a psychology and mental health expert from Staffordshire told LADbible. "Though it might not seem it, the amount of pictures taken of you, the amount of people who see you across the internet or on stage, the idea that a lot is expected of you and the fact that you're not necessarily living a 'normal' life, per se, can have a negative effect on the mind.
"Anyone can be affected by mental health, no matter what. It's how it's dealt, ultimately, that causes consequences, either bad or good. Unfortunately we live in a time when these issues, particularly in men, aren't spoken about enough.
"It gets said a lot, but there's a stigma surrounding the topic. People need to realise this is no joke."
Samaritans' suicide statistics from last year reported that - in the UK and Republic of Ireland alone - there were 6,581 cases where someone had taken their own life in 2014. The highest rate was in men aged 45-49.
Regardless of any frightening stats, the point is that even one suicide is too many.
The fact is that men, no matter what race, what age, what sexuality, what profession, are more likely to not want to talk about these issues, as related stigma can lead them to believe that it's not in their nature.
We tend to think that masculinity and personality traits come into question if we actually open up, but when you think about it, they're actually heightened if they do. Bottling things up to try and deal with it in your open way does not make you a man; having the balls to stand up and talk about it does. To do this, we have to erase the perception that we shouldn't.
"Our deepest thoughts are with the family, friends and fans of Chester Bennington, in light of this incredibly sad news," Media & Celebrity Manager at MIND, Rachel Mackenzie told LADbible. "As a public figure who had previously spoken of his own struggles with depression, this is a stark reminder that mental health problems do not discriminate and can affect people from all walks of life.
"It's important to remember that the reasons behind suicide are many and complex, and vary from one person to another. If you are feeling suicidal, talking to family and friends can make a real difference.
"Just telling someone that you feel suicidal can be a relief, and might be a good first step towards getting help. Friends and family can be there for you emotionally, but can also help you think about what you need to keep yourself safe and what support there is available for you.
"If you find yourself at crisis point or considering suicide, it is important to act straight away by calling Samaritans on 116 123 or go to A&E where you can be seen by a psychiatrist.
"You can also find more information on the Mind website or through our Infoline 0300 123 3393."
It all begins with talking, as well as listening. Now, more than ever, it's important to speak about mental health.
'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.
Samaritans: 116 123.
CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.