Digesting the death of Chester Bennington

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington passed away and it was suicide.  As someone who was a senior in high school during Linkin Park’s heyday, and has experienced suicidal ideation, I have extremely strong feelings about this.

The biggest thing you probably should know about my relationship with the music of Linkin Park is that I was really, really into them during the 18 months or so before I began to really start to think something was wrong with me (basically the last years of high school).  Re-listening to selections off of Hybrid Theory and Meteoria this evening, I am brought back to a very difficult time where I didn’t know why I was feeling extremely sad all the time, and why I was freaking out so much.  I did not know how to deal with it or even begin to talk about it.  Much of it at the time manifested in panic attacks that those around me didn’t know what to make of, and I slowly began to isolate myself to avoid a lot of the pain I was in.

At the time, I was listening and trying out a lot of music that was out of my previous comfort zones at the time as well, and Linkin Park was definitely a group I found myself drawn to.  After almost two decades of exclusively listening to classic pop/rock, it was “edgier” than what I was used to, but still super catchy at the same time. (I think they might have even been the one group to really bridge the gap between hip-hop and rock for me at least, and made me begin to appreciate electronic music.) I would never become a hardcore fan or idolize them at all. After all to this day, nothing beats a good Beatles song to comfort the soul, and groups like Our Lady Peace and Barenaked Ladies* were great at highlighting deep emotions while keeping me extremely engaged and entertained.

(*Greater Canadian public, say what you want about BNL, but I dare you to go revisit all of Gordon and not make a mental note of how many songs are about or allude to domestic violence or mental illness. That’s the album that brought us “If I Had a $1000000” and “Be My Yoko Ono” and was a good 20 years before Steven Page got himself into substance abuse trouble.  There was always a lot more to that band than the goofy radio singles lead you to believe.)

But if I have to be honest of my true emotions and feelings of that period in my life, Linkin Park is what it felt like to know I was losing control of everything I’d previously thought about myself.  I didn’t rely on their music as a place of comfort, but in those times when I just couldn’t fathom listening to something a little happier, Linkin Park was exactly what I needed to have in my music collection to get me through whatever was going to happen.  So, yes, this death in this way is a rough one to accept.  After all, it wasn’t necessarily Mike Shinoda’s rapping that cut straight through the soul – it was Chester Bennington’s alternating soft vocals and metal screams that was the true release.

With this in mind, much like the period after the death of Bennington’s close friend, Chris Cornell, this has become a time of discussion regarding depression and the impact of suicide.  As is always the case, I would encourage folks to reach out to a crisis hotline or even emergency services if they’re are experiencing thoughts of self harm.  I have had to call these lines, and as much as it does take time, doing so will lead to the help you need.

But I would also like to take a moment and encourage people also simply seek out education on the subject of mental health and mental illness.  It’s common for a lot of folks to simply dismiss suicidal inclination and suicide itself as “selfish” (especially considering Bennington was the father of six children); when most of the time, there’s a lot more going on and much of it has nothing to do with how the person feels about the loved ones around them.

CrashCourse: Psychology
Psychological Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #28
https://youtu.be/wuhJ-GkRRQc?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtOPRKzVLY0jJY-uHOH9KVU6

OCD & Anxiety Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #29
https://youtu.be/aX7jnVXXG5o?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtOPRKzVLY0jJY-uHOH9KVU6

Depressive and Bipolar Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #30
https://youtu.be/ZwMlHkWKDwM?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtOPRKzVLY0jJY-uHOH9KVU6

Trauma & Addiction: Crash Course Psychology #31
https://youtu.be/343ORgL3kIc?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtOPRKzVLY0jJY-uHOH9KVU6

Schizophrenia & Dissociative Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #32
https://youtu.be/uxktavpRdzU?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtOPRKzVLY0jJY-uHOH9KVU6

Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #33
https://youtu.be/eMVyZ6Ax-74?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtOPRKzVLY0jJY-uHOH9KVU6

Personality Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #34
https://youtu.be/4E1JiDFxFGk?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtOPRKzVLY0jJY-uHOH9KVU6

National Crisis Hotlines and Resources

Kids Help Phone
1-800-668-6868

Anxiety Panic Support

Bell Let’s Talk

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
204-784-4073

Canadian Mental Health Association
613-745-7750

Collateral Damage
807-768-5217
Toll Free: 888-835-9041

Mental Health Commission
613-683-3755

Mood Disorders Society of Canada
519-824-5565

Schizophrenia Society of Canada
1-800-263-5545

The Jack Project
416-425-2494

Your Life Counts
289-820-5777

Your Life Counts – Military Directorate

British Columbia

Crisis Centre
Toll free: 1-800-784-2433
No area code: 310-6789

Aboriginal Wellness Program
604-875-6601

Canadian Mental Health Association – British Columbia Division
604-688-3234
Toll free: 1-800-555-8222

Counselling B.C.

Here to Help
1-800-661-2121

Youth in B.C.

Greater Vancouver Area: 604-872-3311
Howe Sunshine & Sunshine Coast: 1-866-661-3311

Alberta

Distress Centre
403-266-4357

Canadian Mental Health Association – Alberta Division
780-482-6576

Centre for Suicide Prevention
403-245-3900

Suicide Information and Education Services
403-342-4966

Saskatchewan

Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service
306-933-6200

Mobile Crisis Services
306-757-0127

Canadian Mental Health Association – Saskatchewan Division
1-800-461-5483

Manitoba

Manitoba Suicide Line
1-877-435-7170

Canadian Mental Health Association – Manitoba Division
204-982-6100

Klinic Community Health
204-784-4090

Mental Health Education Resource Centre of Manitoba
1-855-942-6568

Yukon

Yukon Health and Social Services
1-800-667-8346

Mood Disorders Society of Canada – Yukon Division
867-667-8346

Depression Understood
403-668-9111

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories Help Line
867-767-9061

CASP – Northwest Territories Crisis Centre
1-800-661-0844

Nunavut

Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line
1-800-265-3333

Ontario

Gerstein Crisis Centre
416-929-5200

Ontario Mental Health Helpline
1-866-531-2600

Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario Division
416-977-5580

Connex Ontario Health Services
1-866-531-2600

Crisis Line
In Ottawa: 613-722-6914
Outside Ottawa: 1-866-996-0991

Distress and Crisis Ontario
416-486-2242

Do It For Daron
613-722-6521

Family Association for Mental Health Everything (FAME)
416-207-5032

Hincks-Dellcrest Centre
1-855-944-4673

Ontario Association for Suicide Prevention
647-525-6277

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Services
1-800-341-6323

Self-Help Resource Centre
1-866-283-8806

Toronto Distress Centre
416-408-4357

Toronto Rape Crisis Centre
416-597-8808

Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council
844-437-3247

York Support Services Network
1-866-695-0070

Youthdale’s Crisis Support Team
416-363-9990

Quebec

Centre de Prevention du Suicide de Quebec
1-866-277-3553

Action on Mental Illness
1-877-303-0264

Centre de Prevention du Suicide du Haut-Richelieu
450-348-6300

Movement Sante Mentale Quebec
514-849-3291

Newfoundland and Labrador

Coalition Against Violence
1-888-737-4668

Canadian Mental Health Association – Newfoundland and Labrador Division
1-877-753-8550

Central Health

New Brunswick

Chimo Helpline
1-800-667-5005

Canadian Mental Health Association – New Brunswick Division
506-455-5231

Prince Edward Island

The Island Helpline
1-800-218-2885

Canadian Mental Health Association – Prince Edward Island Division
902-566-3034

Nova Scotia

Capital Health – Mental Health Mobile Crisis
1-888-429-8167

Canadian Mental Health Association – Nova Scotia Division
1-888-429-8167

Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia
902-464-6000

Born and raised with thoughts and aspirations of becoming a famous bassist in Sarnia, ON; Emily Plunkett now lives in Gatineau, QC, and considers National Capital Region home sweet home. A product of the Beatles, MuchMusic and the Southwestern Ontario summer festival circuit (circa 2000), her interest and love in concert photography came almost completely by accident when her journalism program at Algonquin College required courses in photojournalism (and she quickly realized that photos taken at concerts using a DSLR are enormously better than ones she was taking on a point-and-shoot she bought for a trip to England). She is extremely proud of the fact she has seen Sloan in some form or another 25 times.

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