News broke today that the Canadian model, Rick Genest, more commonly known as "Zombie Boy", had died at 32-years old. The Montreal police found him in his apartment and have confirmed his death was a suicide.
The model had risen to fame after being discovered in 2010 and went on to travel internationally to walk in runway fashion shows. He also holds two Guinness World records for having the most insect tattoos (176) and human bone tattoos (139).
Genest became instantly recognizable after performing alongside international super-star Lady Gaga in her 2011 music video for "Born This Way". The video has been watched on YouTube over 200 million times currently.
The singer took to Twitter to express her condolences for the model after hearing the news of his tragic death today. Lady Gaga called Genest a friend and said that his suicide is another example as to why we need to continue to discuss mental health in society.
The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating. We have to work harder to change the culture, bring Mental Health to the forefront and erase the stigma that we can’t talk about it. If you are suffering, call a friend or family today. We must save each other. pic.twitter.com/THz6x5JlpB— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 3, 2018
She tweeted again with more photos from behind the scenes of the "Born This Way" video with Genest pushing for people who are struggling to reach out. The singer also linked to her foundation named after the single Genest worked on due to their ongoing efforts to help fund mental health initiatives.
Science tells us that it takes 21 days to form a habit, if you are suffering from Mental Health issue I beckon for today to be your first day or a continuation of the work you’ve been doing. Reach out if you’re in pain, and if you know someone who is, reach out to them too. pic.twitter.com/4pVR5xyoH6— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 3, 2018
Kindness and mental health aren’t one time practices. They aren’t just to do list items. This fall, in partnership with @btwfoundation, I’ll explore the power of habits to build cultures of kindness and wellness. Sign up to learn more https://t.co/GBVblaVKzF— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 3, 2018
Genest would have turned 33 years old next Tuesday on August 7. The Montreal native got his first tattoo at 16 and had nearly covered his body only a few years later, earning him the nickname "Zombie Boy."
Genest is another tragic death this year from suicide. His death draws more attention to the importance of mental health discussions in Canada and around the globe.
Disclaimer: If you or anyone you know have is struggling with thoughts of harming themselves, please reach out to a trusted peer, parent or health care professional. You can also contact a local helpline which is available 24-hours a day to talk. Or click here, for additional support resources.
If you need immediate assistance please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital.
Support is available.