It's past Labor Day, and Scott Stapp is still rocking as hard as he was in May. The Grammy-winning songwriter and lead singer of Creed and Art Of Anarchy has been on a blitzing run of live concerts over several months, and today he will be in Winston-Salem, NC at the Fairgrounds as the headliner of the Make America Rock Again Tour. The lyricist has a repertoire of unforgettable anthems that are far more than ample to fill hours on stage, but “hard curfews” by some venues force him to stick to an hour-range set for this set.

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Regardless of how rigorous the schedule of tour dates becomes, Scott Stapp delivers more than the tones of his beloved baritone. From the stage and a sincerity that can only be from this artist’s heart, he carries a message of compassion and overcoming in the day-to-day battle with mental illness.

His courage to speak out has been a beacon of light to many in the same struggle. Talinda Bennington knows the pain of mental illness very personally. Her husband, Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park, took his life in late July.

Scott Stapp not only shared the pain of Chester Bennington's passing, along with that of Chris Cornell, in an eloquent post to Facebook, he has been equally expressive about the necessity of offering compassion to those in darkness of depression and other conditions rather than a dismissive attitude of “they have everything” and not recognizing the humanness and frailty which pervade every person, and the dilemmas faced every day, by everyone. Talinda Bennington took time to let Scott Stapp know that she noticed, and she encourages everyone to keep talking.

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Growing from gratitude

“Thank U 4 speaking out about mental health in [an] interview” opened Talinda Bennington's Twitter message to Scott Stapp. The bereaved widow followed those grateful words with an invitation to be part of her hashtag #F@*kDepression. It's not just rock stars like Scott Stapp who get noticed by Talinda Bennington. She pays special attention to reach out to countless real people hurting from life and having suicidal thoughts and responds as a friend.

She may pass on favorite inspirations or a song that matters, but mostly, Talinda makes sure that those reaching out to her know that there is someone who cares at the end of every plea. She is very open and honest about still being in the throes of her grief. In a Rolling Stone feature today, Talinda Bennington shares a portrait she took just days before her husband’s death. The image depicts Chester Bennington and four of the couple's children overlooking an outdoor balcony in Arizona, and the dad looks buoyant.

Images can be deceiving, even to dear ones nearest to any person.

Scott Stapp makes a strong point that noticing behaviors that seem “out of character,” no matter how subtle, may indicate much bigger issues. Being the one who listens, being the one who cares enough to ask questions, even being the one who notices something different, can be critically life-saving.

Being the light

Talinda Bennington pays honor to her husband and the legacy of their lives together every day, as she raises their six children with “all the love in me.” Scott Stapp has a deeper, more dedicated mission as he performs every night on this tour. He and wife, Jaclyn, will welcome their third child, a boy, sometime around Thanksgiving. The light of hope, faith, freedom, and higher places are themes in many of his solo and band career songs, and his presence alone is proof enough that recovery and restoration are always possible.

Talinda Bennington wants anyone suffering to reach for the light, too. She is focusing intensive effort into the One More Light Foundation, in honor of her husband. The foundation’s initiatives will include support for those in the siege of mental illness and suicide prevention.