Suicide. It’s the first thing being mentioned right now as we learn the details of another gone far too soon – taken by the monster that is mental illness. We get it. We fight that darkness knowing full well that it can overtake anyone at any time. And it did. Chester Bennington was an incredibly talented man who inspired millions, including us, and his death is hitting us hard. So while suicide may be the first thing mentioned right now, please don’t let it be the last. 

It feels like losing a friend. There is a grief process happening right now. We’ve listened to his music for years, but it’s not fair. A tour was scheduled and we, and countless more, would have been there. We would have yelled and screamed and soaked up every note. More importantly, we would have helped had we known he needed it. And that’s the hardest part. You see someone you looked up to, someone millions looked up to, and you don’t understand. You didn’t see any signs. How could this happen? The truth is that sometimes there are no signs. Sometimes those suffering don’t reach out. Sometimes suicidal thoughts win.

Chester Bennington’s death is hitting my husband hard. Why? Because as a survivor of five suicide attempts, Jeremy knows the battle. He knows the reality of the torture that suicidal thoughts are. And as a huge Linkin Park fan, he feels like he lost a friend to the same disease he fights daily himself.

None of this is fair. It’s just not. The world lost a great artist today, but the fact that he will live on forever in his music is absolutely priceless. And his death will not be in vain. People like us won’t let it. We will continue to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention by telling our story and honoring those whose lives have been lost to this deadly beast. We will continue to shout from a mountaintop that you can learn to live again, not just stay alive, by fighting and accepting help.

So while suicide is one of the first things mentioned, please don’t let it be the last. Please choose life. Choose help. Choose to honor the lives lost by living yourself, spreading goodness, and helping others. Rest in peace, Chester. And thank you for your contributions to the music world.

Bailey Koch

The story of Bailey Koch finding her love for and strength in writing begins with near tragedy. In February of 2012, Bailey's husband was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a semi truck. As a method of getting information to friends and family, Bailey began a Caring Bridge page. Immediately, others began commenting that Bailey should be a writer. "Yeah right!" Bailey thought. "There's no way I could do that!" "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" was published in March 2015 and is written by Jeremy and Bailey Koch. It details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. High school sweethearts, Jeremy and Bailey know their lives were meant for each other and to help others by being honest about their story. They are proud parents of two beautiful, and often rambunctious, boys, Hudson and Asher. You can learn more about their journey and even purchase the eBook or paperback copy of "Never Alone" at Additionally, a new book written for families to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression is now available. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is available at as well. Jeremy and Bailey found their purpose in helping others find hope when suffering from a disability, especially unseen illnesses like depression. Jeremy, who suffers from suicidal thoughts, continues to learn to live, not simply stay alive, through hope from God and the acceptance of help. Bailey is his biggest supporter and left her teaching job, after being in public education for seven years, to focus on what the two know to be God's plan. Bailey now works as a Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and will graduate with her doctoral degree in Special Education from Walden University sometime in 2019. Jeremy and Bailey co-own and operate Natural Escapes, a landscaping and greenhouse services business that also includes a paint your own pottery and canvas family art studio. The passion to advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves is strong. Bailey has a message of hope and acceptance for all; she has plans to completely demolish the societal stigma attached to mental illness.