Some of the most beloved names in entertainment have recently been lost to suicide. Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams, Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, and now Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. At Answers4dancers, we want to support our community by sharing important resources you can use to help a friend or if you need to talk to someone who can help you find your way.
ROBERT SCHULTZ' TRIBUTE TO LINKIN PARK'S CHESTER BENNINGTON
The new millennium gave us rock band Linkin Park – they were part of a youth revolution and lead singer Chester Bennington's voice was its blaring trumpet. His delivery and lyrics expressed earnest vulnerability combined with unhinged anger. And on July 20, that voice was silenced by his suicide.
Suicide is not a typical discussion for Answers4dancers, but it’s an important one.
Robert Schultz, choreographer and friend of A4D, moved by a performance he had seen of Chester singing the emotionally raw song ONE MORE LIGHT, turned to the expression that transcends words… DANCE. He created this piece months before Bennington's death, but now it feels even more relevant.
In a compelling piece, released on Facebook, Robert encourages others to reach out when life seems hopeless. He shares that, ‘Linkin Park was a voice and many really never discuss the topic of suicide. I feel as an artist we have a platform not only to entertain but to bring awareness through our art.’
Two A4D members were part of this project; Dancer To Watch Frank Soares and Angela Bergamo. SYTYCD Season 12's Hailee Payne along with six other dancers all contributed their talent. Robert, Frank, and Angela are all signed with LA's Go 2 Talent with Terry Lindholm who reacted to Robert’s tribute.
This is what art should be ... an expression of feeling to bring awareness and spark conversation. Bravo to Robert for using social media to promote a message of hope and support. Tragedies have a way of making us take a beat and I only wish we didn't have to remind ourselves to care about other people... some say it is taking a positive from a negative.’ – Terry Lindholm, lead agent & founder GTA Agency
Robert’s passion can be heard in his words: ‘We need to be there for each other. Be Present. Be aware of how we speak to each other. This is dedicated to all those that have left this planet and to those contemplating. Please reach out for help. There are many sources. I want you all to know that you are enough. That you are loved.’
Bennington once described his mind as a ‘bad neighborhood where I should not be walking alone.’ His haunting words remind us all we have the power within us to walk along with others when they need us. The first step is speaking out just as Robert Schultz did in this piece.
More from our members:
Having gotten to deliver such an important message within this project touched my heart and hopefully the heart of many others struggling to find their meaning on this planet, or friends/family struggling to keep a smile on a loved one's face. Sadly, suicide is a common thought and situation in our world. I thank Robert for this video which lets people know that all they need to do is ask for help. Don't ever feel you're not enough, because SOMEONE will be there to pick you back up. RIP Chester Bennington, although you left this life unexpectedly, I thank you for the lyrics and lessons you've left behind. – FRANK SOARES
A million thanks to Robert Schultz for speaking up on this important topic. This experience was awesome on so many levels. So inspired by this wonderful group of dancers! Thanks so much @go2talent! – ANGELA BERGAMO
SUICIDE PREVENTION & MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT RESOURCES
ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY FUND RESOURCES
The Entertainment Community Fund has licensed clinicians to help industry professionals and their families deal with and provide ongoing support services for issues like work and personal stress, anxiety, depression, and life transitions. https://entertainmentcommunity.org/services-and-programs/mental-health
The Entertainment Community Fund provides assistance nationally. Please contact the regional office closest to you.
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide.
1-800-273-8255 • https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
SAVE: SUICIDE AWARENESS VOICES OF EDUCATION
SAVE engages the public by partnering with communities across the country to organize awareness events, start up new SAVE charters, and disseminate suicide prevention messaging.
1-800-273-8255 • https://save.org
Risk Factors and Warning Signs
What leads to suicide?
There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives.
Suicide Warning Signs
Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.
Please do not suffer alone. Contact any of these organizations that offer help and support.