Fall Out Boy bassist and songwriter Pete Wentz has long been a proponent of being open about mental health. He’s written about depression and anxiety in songs like “Hum Hallelujah” and spoken about how he attempted suicide but was intercepted when he called his manager, who noticed Wentz slurring his words after taking a large dose of the prescription medication Ativan and promptly called Wentz’s mother, who took her son to the hospital.
Ever since, Wentz has been using his platform to destigmatize and encourage conversations about mental health. Those are important conversations to have anytime, but especially right now, in the wake of the death of Lil Peep, a 21-year-old musician who reportedly died of an overdose this week.
“I had just been talking to Lil Peep on Instagram like last week,” Wentz told EW in a phone call the day news broke about Lil Peep’s death. “I don’t know, this one really, really hit me hard. He’s so young.”
Earlier in the day, Wentz tweeted about Lil Peep, writing, “There’s something about this that hurts a little bit more…” He continued, “We have to talk about mental health [in an] open way. Have to help each other we all have struggles, none of this is easy.”
Wentz expanded on that to EW, insisting that mental illness “can’t be stigmatized.”
“On the outside sometimes, it seems like people are okay or people are doing things for an image or something like that, and you have to really check in and make sure people are doing all right,” he said, “especially if it seems like they’re outwardly crying for help.”
Just a day before his death, Lil Peep posted an Instagram video accompanied by a caption about his struggles. “I don’t let people help me but I need help,” he wrote. “What is happy I always have happiness for like 10 seconds and then it’s gone. I’m getting so tired of this.”
“There’s no shame in asking for help and saying that you need help and reaching out,” Wentz said. “And if somebody does, and you notice that somebody does, if you can’t help, you should help them get help.”
One way to do that is by referring to them to organizations and hotlines, like Half of Us or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, dedicated to providing help to those who need it. Find information about how to get help and how to help others at the National Institution for Mental Health website.
If you or someone you know is struggling, text START to 741-741 or call 800-273-8255. Find resources and more information via Half of Us here.