Singer’s Death Highlights Higher Suicide Risk for Suicide Loss Survivors

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, July 21, 2017 — Chester Bennington, Linkin Park frontman, died from suicide yesterday at the age of 41.

Bennington was close friends with singer Chris Cornell, frontman of Soundgarden, who died by suicide on May 20, 2017. Yesterday would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Important dates, anniversaries, and birthdays of those lost to suicide can be difficult for survivors. Suicide loss survivors—those who have lost a friend or loved one to suicide—are at elevated risk for suicide, themselves. AAS Loss Survivor Division Chair Janet Schnell says, “After a suicide death, loss survivors can experience many depressive symptoms. For me, it was harder on anniversary dates, holidays, and when I would see things that reminded me of my brother.”

We can never speculate as to a single cause for a suicide. There is always a combination of complicated factors. What we do know is that every suicide death significantly affects over 100 people. “More than half of Americans personally know someone who has died by suicide, and we are all affected when a celebrity to whom we feel connected ends their life,” according to AAS president Julie Cerel.

Exposure to suicide, especially to close relations or beloved public figures, can increase risk. Be aware of those around you, check in with them, and ask them how you can help. If you are personally affected, please reach out and seek support. You can find more information regarding surviving a suicide loss here:

Suicide prevention resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ( – 800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line ( – Text HOME to 741-741
The Trevor Project ( – 866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline ( – 877-565-8860
RAINN ( – 800-656-HOPE

For the media: We urge members of the media to share suicide prevention resources in all of their reports. Responsible reporting on suicide, and the inclusion of stories of hope and resilience, can prevent more suicides. You can find more information on safe messaging around suicide at


About AAS: Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes suicide as a research discipline, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center volunteers, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of lay persons who have in interest in suicide prevention. You can learn more about AAS at

Colleen Creighton
American Association of Suicidology
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