Story by Scotty J
Photos by Ambler Irby – See “Out with Ambler“
There’s no question that mental health is one of the biggest issues plaguing our country today. While substance abuse in the form of drugs and/or alcohol has destroyed many lives, these instruments of destruction can often be traced back to a mental health issue. Just recently, Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach has made the courageous decision not to be another statistic.
Countless lives are lost every day as a result of anxiety and depression related illness. Too often times people feel compelled to self-medicate. For whatever reason (sometimes there is no reason), life can seem overwhelming to the point when the victim will do anything to escape. In the entertainment industry, this seems to be an issue that’s rampant. Perhaps it’s the fact that artists tend to feel things so much more deeply than most? Whatever the case, Jesse Leach has publicly taken the kind of action that fans, friends, and extended family can be proud of.
Killswitch Engage on Tour with Crowbar! Photos by Ambler Irby – See “Out with Ambler“
We live in an era where public shaming has become common place. What is perceived as weakness vs. strength seems to be exploited just to make headlines. Social media has given a 24×7 window into the lives of anyone who is willing to participate. Jesse has decided to step away from all of that so he can focus on healing, despite how he may be judged. Killswitch Engage fans worldwide should feel relieved and proud that Leach took action before it was too late. A true role model is one that can face the potential of public scrutiny to do what they know is right. Let’s all hope and pray that Jesse Leach finds the help he’s sought out, so that he’s able to return to doing what he clearly loves to do.
Jesse Leach’s own words to the public just a couple days ago:
“I have begun to get the help I need and I am grateful for the tribe of people that have begun to surround me. I will keep this brief as I need to maintain my distance from social media to continue to rebuild and focus on my mind and body. First of all thank you for the outpouring of love and support. I am unable to read all of the messages and comments and apparently articles and blogs (didn’t see that coming). ALSO rest assured I look forward to this next tour more than I have any other. This is for various reasons, but mostly because music is my biggest medicine and always has been. So no I will absolutely NOT cancel any shows! Lastly no need to ask my friends, my x-wife or band mates what happened what’s going on or how I am. You heard it from me today, I am ok and I will cautiously take one day at a time as this will be a process. Everyone has their breaking point I reached mine and asked for help! Then help swooped in like a Hawk to rescue me.
Love to you all, love to my family, my friends old and new, my therapists, my x wife who is still my friend despite our separation and situation (so please don’t bug her about any of this, she has her own journey to begin to work on). Thank you, thank you, thank you. All! .
I will post again when I feel the need to do so. However I do not plan on going as deep as I did when this account began. I’m not ready for that just yet, and perhaps need to be selective with what I do share. If you or someone you know is having issues, problems and in need of help, please don’t hesitate to ask, to seek it and to speak up! There are many amazing humans that want nothing more than to help!”