The other day I watched an interview that Kerrang! did with Mike Shinoda. Mike Shinoda is a musician and artist and most commonly known for being one of the singers/rappers of Linkin Park – and I bet you now know what is about to follow: Chester Bennigton, the other singer of Linkin Park, died by suicide in July 2017. Mike Shinoda subsequently released a solo-album called “Post-Traumatic” which allows the listener to get some insight into the emotions that Mike was and is feeling. But more importantly he became an advocate for raising awareness for mental health and suicide. In the interview with Kerrang! he said a few things that resonated with me and pretty much everyone at IMAlive because we are all dealing with the same frustration: language and the stereotypes that are being put out there about suicide and mental health.
What is being said and how it is being said matters. As Mike Shinoda puts it “we have more influencers now than in the history of the world”. Every word that is being shared on social media stays there forever. It doesn’t matter how many people are reached with it. Everyone has to be aware that their choice of words carries weight.
So we at IMAlive are launching a new series. Once a month we will come together to take apart our everyday language and bust stereotypes and so we can learn to be careful in our choice of words when it comes to talking about mental health and suicide.
We will kick off this series next week with the most troubled aspect in our choice of words.