A Rock Girl and Mental Health Nurse reflects on Chris Cornell and Suicide
As Q103's Rock Girl, I spend countless hours listening to amazing music, writing articles on bands that I love, and hanging out with fans at events. As a psychiatric crisis nurse, in my other day job, I spend countless hours speaking to people immediately after suicide attempts, or in the throws of crisis prior to attempting suicide. Not often do my two work roles cross, but in times like this, reflecting on my rock hero Chris Cornell, I'm heartbroken not just as a fan but as someone who deals with the suicidal on a routine basis.
As reported in what I read initially by the New York Times, Chris Cornell committed suicide. Why? So many fans and people that I have spoken with ask why suicide? There was money, fame, family, fans, and everything one could imagine. But none of us as fans knew Chris personally, nor what he was going through.
When working as a nurse with people and assessing their psychiatric needs, I spend countless hours asking about everything going on with them: family history, personal history, current stressors or triggers, substance use, employment, social supports, you name it. I then, if allowed, spend a countless amount of time speaking with their family, friends, gathering more information to assess what can best be done to keep someone safe. Long story short: there is no one easy predictor if someone will commit suicide or not. Often it is difficult to know, and at times even, people who have decided to commit suicide may be more at ease having reconciled their future path. On top of that, there are many different reasons why people commit suicide, and if it is related to a mental health disorder, then it's not necessarily something money, fame, fans, or even family can fix.
I'm devastated as someone who can basically be described as "obsessed" with Chris Cornell. I woke up today to multiple texts and Facebook messages from friends asking me how I was handling the news. His music helped to guide me through so many ups and downs in my life, so it was almost bitter to read about how he himself died. I've seen him live multiple times, both solo and with Soundgarden, and have listened to him for as long as my memory goes back.
The music world truly lost a legend today. But unfortunately, it's not just legends who die of suicide every day. If you or anyone you know are in need of help, there are multiple resources including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1 (800) 273-8255 ), the Crisis Text Line, and even your local hospitals and emergency departments.
*I am in no way giving specific medical or nursing advice, my writing is solely an opinion on current news