Over his more than two-decade career, Scott Stapp has written songs that literally have pulled countless others from the brink of hopelessness and that “6 feet from the edge” so familiar in the song “One Last Breath.” The lyricist and lead singer for Creed and Art of Anarchy has spent the summer on the road headlining the Make America Rock Again tour along with some hard-rocking company, and he hears life-changing stories from fans all along the way.

There are still two weeks left for the tour, and Scott Stapp took a meaningful pause for a passionate cause. He opened his heart on September 14 to Blabbermouth news to share what made the recent suicides of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington so deeply personal, and why his platform for advocacy in mental illness extends far beyond the stage.

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It doesn't take stardom, a spotlight, or an evergreen catalog of rock classics to save a life-- Scott Stapp knows that the “angel” someone most needs in a dark moment could be right in front of their eyes.

Word and deed making the difference

The tragic losses of Chris Cornell and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington were heart-wrenching to dear ones and countless dedicated fans beyond the families who will never pass a day without feeling the lingering pain of a cherished life gone so suddenly and needlessly.

Scott Stapp relates that both were “a very in-your-face reminder to me of how close I was to reaching the same end.“

The Grammy-winning artist has been very vocal on social media and through music press outlets for bringing “compassion” to mental illness intervention over dismissive and judgmental attitudes. Chester Bennington's widow, Talinda, and Scott have traded Twitter messages of gratitude and support, to ensure that none are added in “taking 2 many lives & hurting families” in shadows of darkness and desperation.

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Scott Stapp describes that deaths of the two musical contemporaries are reminders of “places I never want to go to again” and serve as guardrail assurances that if he ever comes “close to going again,” a prompt exit to “get the help I need” is a given.

Angels all around

Because he “walked the walk” of millions suffering from mental illness issues before coming to acceptance and treatment of his issues with alcoholism, addiction, and bipolar disorder, Scott Stapp knows the difference one person makes.

“Be an angel in that person’s life,” Stapp earnestly appeals to anyone who knows or is close to someone in the throes of depression or other mental illness conditions. A phone call, a car ride, taking time to listen, or a simple “yes” from someone suffering can be the start of halting a dark journey and turning to light.

It was persistent, never surrendering interventions of love, faith, family, and finding the most appropriate treatment regimen that drew Stapp out of his own spiraling torment in 2014.

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He and his family have courageously confronted the onslaught of misunderstanding media that only worsened their personal pain at the time, and their commitment speak openly and in truth to situations of mental illness that Scott Stapp calls “very near and dear to my heart” have made them real and relatable ambassadors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. From the stage, Scott instills hope into the lifted hearts and raised hands feeling his audience, reminding them to know that “there's something left for you and me,” from that famous song.

Managing mental illness is a day by day, step by step pathway that demands constant attention and dedication to what works. The musician maintains intensive therapy and takes medication as part of his healthy lifestyle, and his creative outlets play a part in healing. Sobriety stays as a top priority. “By no means have I arrived,” insists Scott Stapp, but his journey holds bright horizons that he knows can be possible for much more because “help is there,” and so are many angels, dressed just like caring people.