Jared Leto sent a message of hope to those struggling with suicidal ideation at this year’s VMA ceremony: “You are not alone.”
The Oscar-winner, who also serves at the frontman for the rock group 30 Seconds to Mars, paid tribute to musicians Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, both of whom took their lives this year.
Cornell, the lead singer for Soundgarden and Audioslave, was found in a Detroit hotel room on May 17. Police determined that the 52-year-old’s death was a result of suicide by hanging. Bennington, who was a good friend of Cornell’s, was discovered in his Los Angeles home on July 19. The date would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.
Leto, who toured with Bennington, ended a moving eulogy to his friends by sharing words of inspiration to anyone who has thought about taking their own life.
“There is always a way forward,” he said. “Reach out, share your thoughts, do not give up.”
After news of Bennington’s passing hit the Web in July, Leto penned an emotional tribute to the Linkin Park singer on his Twitter page. The 45-year-old referred to Bennington as an “absolute legend,” calling him “delicate, ferocious and always full of emotion.”
“Witnessing his life taught me a lot,” he wrote, “about commitment, about kindness, about hard work, about the pursuit and achievement of dreams, and mostly about love.”
Statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention show that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. The organization estimates that every year, 44,193 Americans take their own lives.
Note: Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact The Trevor Project or Trans Lifeline for support or any questionsespecially if you feel that you’re currently in crisis.