CBS This Morning recently presented a live special broadcast focusing on mental health. It’s an issue that hit the dance music industry like a deep blow to the chest when Avicii’s sudden death was reported in April 2018. In a Netflix documentary filmed just before his suicide, the global superstar said everyone knew about his struggles.
I think it’s brave of him to open up that way,” said Avicii’s father, Klas Bergling, in the CBS spotlight.
The goal of the broadcast, dubbed “Stop the Stigma: A Conversation About Mental Health,” is to try to put an end to the blame and shame surrounding mental illness. During the special, CBS highlighted the life and death of Tim Bergling, known more widely as Avicii. A reporter spoke with Avicii’s father, Klas Bergling, about his son’s struggles with anxiety, the stresses of touring life, and his legacy on the global dance music scene.
Tim Bergling’s early struggles
In the interview, Klas Bergling explained that his son suffered from anxiety since his early teen years. Tim was open about his struggles, he revealed, and they took him to see a psychiatrist when he was 14. Although it seemed to have helped at the time, Avicii’s life went full circuit a few years later as his music began to chart across the world. Reaching a full-on crossover level of fame, Avicii began to feel the pressure of world touring, with his management booking up to 250 shows a year. The face-paced schedule began to take a toll on his mental health so Avicii made the decision to quit touring in 2016 to focus on what he loved most: creating music.
“If you have experienced it yourself, there are ways to get a more balanced life,” Avicii’s father continues. “He was much healthier and he started exercising and things began turning into a very, very good direction.”
Life after Avicii
Less than two years later, Tim Bergling took his own life at 28-years-old while on vacation in Oman.
“The suicide came as a shock to all of us,” Klas Bergling said. “And we thought that he was really on a better [path]way before.”
After his death, Avicii’s family chose to release the music he was producing in the time leading up to his death. The proceeds of Avicii’s posthumous album would go to benefit the Tim Bergling Foundation. Avicii’s father has since devoted his life to the cause of spreading mental health awareness and suicide prevention. “You have to talk about it and not be afraid to ask for help,” he said.
When asked about the goal of the foundation, Klas Bergling said they are “trying to get the stigma away from talking about mental illness and suicide. We hope we can be a voice for Tim because Tim had millions of fans.”