TALINDA BENNINGTON is the mother of a beautiful blended family of 6. She is the wife of the late singer, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. In the summer of 2017, Talinda lost her husband to depression and addiction. Chester Bennington died by suicide on July 20, 2017. Determined to prevent others in need from suffering alone, Talinda partnered with Give an Hour and the Campaign to Change Direction and launched 320 Changes Direction – an effort named in honor of Chester Bennington whose birthday was March 20th.
The mission of 320 Changes Direction is to connect mental health resources to those in need via technology, social media platforms, and standard media outlets. Talinda has become a spokesperson and champion for this effort and speaks regularly on panels, on social media and at events around the world – about the need to change our culture so that those who are suffering emotionally are able to receive the care they deserve.
In September 2019, she traveled as a guest of the World Health Organization to Geneva, where she helped to roll out the “40 seconds of action” campaign on World Mental Health Day. WHO developed the campaign in response to a grim statistic: Worldwide, one person dies every 40 seconds from suicide; nearly 800,000 lives are lost every year. The program encourages people to take 40 seconds to care for themselves or to help someone who is struggling.
In September 2019, Talinda did an “Instagram takeover” for Didi Hirsch, a few days before the organization’s 21st annual Alive & Running 5K for Suicide Prevention. During the one-hour takeover, she fielded questions from fans in real time about suicide, self-care strategies and mental health resources while also promoting the event. Each of her posts averaged more than 750 views, and Didi Hirsch gained nearly 300 followers. Talinda was a featured speaker at the 5K itself, and she and her daughter Lily helped to kick off the run. More than 2,700 participants and volunteers raised a record $500,000 for the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevent Center.
With Kevin Lyman (a fellow Cal Poly Pomona alum and founder of the annual Vans Warped Tour, a traveling summer rock tour), Talinda is organizing a mental health music festival to be held in May 2020 at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services will be among dozens of nonprofit groups that will be on site to offer information about resources.
Talinda lives in Southern California with her three young children and husband, Michael Friedman, a Los Angeles County firefighter and paramedic whom she married in January 2020.