Everybody hurts and we should stop thinking otherwise. That’s essentially the message of the 320 Project, the mental health initiative started by Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman and 320 Changes Direction founder Talinda Bennington, who was married to the late Chester Bennington.
The first stage of the non-profit’s work begins with 320 Conversations, a roundtable discussion hosted by actor/comic Ken Jeong and moderated by Lyman. Panel participants include Blue October frontman Justin Furstenfeld (who will also be performing), Morgan Freed (co-founder/director of Emo Nite LA), Tiffany Jenkins (Juggling The Jenkins), Jason Docton (CEO of Rise Above The Disorder) and Erin Raffery Ryan, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Alliance On Mental Illness.
“The idea for 320 was born out of my personal experience and the recognition that we can do better to address the needs of those who are suffering with mental health concerns and addiction,” Bennington shares. “For 13 years I watched my husband Chester struggle with depression and substance use. I often felt scared and alone. I was uneducated about the challenges he faced and I wanted information, but finding answers to my questions and available help for our family was very difficult. We need to change the culture of mental health so that those in need—and their family members—are able to speak openly about their struggles so that they can seek the care they deserve.”
Lyman echoed Bennington’s sentiment, sharing, “It is a true honor to be involved with the 320 Festival, honoring the legacy of Chester Bennington and bringing together so many wonderful organizations in the mental health and resource space together. It has always been a belief of mine that it if you empower today’s youth and create experiences where a community can have fun and come together it will create a melting pot for true societal change. The 320 Festival embodies that thinking.”
The event takes place at the USC Bovard Auditorium in Los Angeles March 9 at 7 p.m. Admission is free: To secure tickets, potential attendees may RSVP at the official 320 Festival website.
hey LA, mark your calendars for march 9th & join us for 320 conversations at USC's bovard auditorium. we'll be chatting about mental health, enjoying some music from justin of blue october, and announcing the #320festival. rsvp here: https://t.co/is9XM2fGOn pic.twitter.com/OMnSOQj8PR
— 320 Festival (@320festival) February 18, 2020
More on Talinda Bennington and 320
The 320 Conversations series is the first phase of the initiative’s aims. In 2018, Bennington launched a special “Change Direction” campaign to celebrate her late husband Chester’s birthday.
It was one of the first steps in 320’s bigger Changes Direction campaign, a resource for friends and family members who are seeking answers to questions about mental health, mental illness and addiction so that they can support the people in their lives who are suffering emotionally.