Talinda Bennington debuts 320 Festival to benefit mental health awareness
The festival will include a mental health summit, community festival, and benefit concert.
Last year, Bennington announced her project 320 Changes Direction in honor of her Chester.
To honor [Chester Bennington's] Bday- I’m asking you to Change Direction," she says in a tweet. "On March 20th,Post a pic holding up your hand, which symbolizes you know the 5 signs of emotional well-being. Write “I AM THE CHANGE” on your hand. Bcuz the change begins within ourselves."
Earlier this year, Bennington opened up about the Linkin Park frontman’s mental state before his untimely death by suicide in July 2017. During Mental Health Awareness Month, Talinda Bennington revealed that she felt her late husband was in a “good place.”
“We just thought he was OK,” Talinda says. “I can’t emphasize [that] enough. If you knew Chester, you would know that he was in a good place, in such a good place.”
After a period of grieving, Talinda then decided to become an advocate and a voice for the Linkin Park fanbase.
“I’m not going to stay stuck in despair and I’m gonna move through the grief,” Talinda says. “And the way I began to do that was connecting with fans on Twitter. They were reaching out, saying how sad they were and how they didn’t think that they could go on because Chester couldn’t. And I knew that’s the last thing Chester would have wanted.”
Now, with the 320 Festival, she plans to help others who are struggling with their mental health, as well as their families.
"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," Talinda says on the festival website. "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."
"After my husband lost his battle with depression and addiction, I knew I had to make a change to the mental health landscape. I began speaking to as many mental health groups as I could find. Whitney Showler and Music For Relief have been very supportive and helpful on this journey."
"So here is what I learned," she continues. "We don’t need to create more programs – there are good ones out there. But we do need to do two things. We need to streamline access to the help that IS available. And 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."
The community festival portion of the day will include "top mental health organizations that serve the community on a local and national level." Entry is free, attendees are being asked to take canned goods for donation in replacement for the fee. There will also be performances from comedians, musicians, actors and more.
At the mental health summit, there will be panels that "will take a deep dive into the current climate of mental health and provide attendees with new perspectives and tools to make a change."
There will also be round-tables, break-out sessions and a safe space to go and talk with trained therapists.
The benefit concert will consist of "A-list talent" and will be ticketed. No line-up has been announced.
The festival will take place on May 9, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA, and more information can be found on their website here.
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