Chester Bennington's Son Films Suicide Prevention Videos 2 Months After Singer Took His Own Life
It’s been two months since Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life, and his teenage son Draven Sebastian Bennington doing what he can to prevent others from going down the same path.
The 15-year-old boy has filmed two videos in the wake of his father’s death, released in honor of National Suicide Prevention Week.
The first, posted to YouTube on Sunday, features Draven sitting in a garden outside as Linkin Park’s “Numb” plays in the background.
“I want to make a commitment that I will talk to someone before I hurt myself when I’m feeling depressed, sad or going through a hard week, month or year,” Draven says in the clip, after introducing himself. “I want to challenge you to do the same: to help yourself, not hurt yourself.”
In the second video, posted Wednesday, Draven gets a bit more personal about how he’s been doing since losing his father.
“It still doesn’t feel like it actually happened. You always think that maybe he’s on vacation and someone just found someone else,” he tells family therapist Angelica Guajardo. “Maybe he’ll pop back up [like it was a mistake or a bad joke].”
“It’s hard because sometimes you just sit down, you start thinking about things. I came across old home videos that he had, things like that. It sucks,” he adds, the instrumental of Linkin Park’s “In the End” playing in the background.
Earlier in the clip, the two are joined by Draven’s mom (and Chester’s ex-wife) Samantha Bennington who starts off by thanking Kristy’s — a restaurant in Malibu where they taped the video and where Draven last saw Chester at an April 19 dinner in celebration of the teen’s birthday.
“Thank you for releasing our first statement here at your restaurant,” Samantha says. “We honor you, we support you and we love you and your family. And Malibu is such an embracing community.”
Chester was found dead from suicide by hanging just three months later on July 20, leaving behind six children including Draven and half-siblings Jaime, Isaiah, Tyler and twins Lilly and Lila.
Talinda Bennington — who married Chester in 2006 and is the mother to Tyler, Lilly and Lila — shared a heartbreaking photo of the rock star on Sept. 7 from days before his death to warn about the hidden nature of depression.
The image is a selfie by Talinda showing her husband smiling widely as he spends time with his family near the beach. “This was days before my husband took his own life,” she captioned the snap. “Suicidal thoughts were there, but you’d never know.”
Since her husband’s death, Talinda has filled her social media feed with messages of support for those battling mental illness, often adding the hashtag #MakeChesterProud.
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She told PEOPLE in a statement a month after his death that the only comfort and strength she’s had in the wake of Chester’s death is in the three children they share.
“The only answer I know is to raise our babies with every ounce of love I have left,” she said. “I want to let my community and the fans worldwide know that we feel your love. We feel your loss as well. My babies are so young to have lost their daddy. And I know that all of you will help keep his memory alive. He was a bright, loving soul with an angel’s voice. And now he is pain free singing his songs in all of our hearts. May God Bless us all and help us turn to one another when we are in pain. Chester would’ve wanted us to do so. Rest In Peace, my love.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).