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ALERT: Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  You may not be a fan of the band Linkin Park, but suicide prevention advocates say you still should be aware of the recent death of the band's lead singer, Chester Bennington.

The Associated Press says that the 41-year-old Bennington was found hanged in the bedroom of his Los Angeles home July 20.

The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network notes that the suicide of a celebrity can have a ripple effect, causing individuals already in emotional distress to consider doing the same. Scott Ridgway of the Network says there are warning signs you should be watching for among family, friends and co-workers.

“The use of alcohol and drugs. That’s very important. Anytime they are withdrawing from other folks. They may be verbalizing that they wish they weren’t around. Their appearance might change drastically.”

Ridgway notes that Chester Bennington was well-known for talking about the childhood trauma that he endured. But he says that’s actually unusual for men, so it’s especially important to stay in tune with their current emotional state.

When the time is right, recommend they try to crisis hotline at 1-800-271-TALK(8255), or trying texting.

“Folks that don’t want to talk on the telephone, they can use the crisis text line: TN-741-741.”

Ridgway says the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network is always looking for volunteers. 

Here's a letter currently displayed at Linkinpark.com:

Dear Chester, 
Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened. 
You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized. In the past few days, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world. Talinda and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you. 
Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious. Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled—a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing. We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve. 
Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable. While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much. 
Until we see you again, 
Visit Chester.LinkinPark.com