120 Kids' Suicide Notes Lead to This Musician's Inked Arm

Robb Nash wants to show other teens that they're not alone
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2016 12:00 PM CDT
120 Kids' Suicide Notes Lead to This Musician's Inked Arm
Robb Nash gets his inspirational ink.   (Facebook)

Robb Nash and his band are known for not only playing concerts in schools and detention centers across Canada, but also for digging deep with teens about mental illness and self-harm. After he performs, the Winnipeg musician is often approached and handed suicide notes by young listeners who relate to his message and own struggles—more than 520 notes in all so far, per the CBC, and not including messages he receives on social media, the Winnipeg Free Press notes. Earlier this month, Nash decided he wanted to honor youngsters brave enough to share their stories, so he had the names of 120 of those students tattooed on his right arm. "[Every day] when I meet people that are suicidal, they always say that they feel alone," he said in a Facebook post. "My hope is that in those moments, I can show them my arm, so they can see the names of tons of other people that once felt the same way and found the strength to get help and keep moving."

Nash was in a bad head-on collision when he was 17 and was initially pronounced dead by first responders. He survived, but he had a long, hard recovery and came out of the experience "wanting to burn [the world] down … angry and bitter," as the Free Press describes his outlook. Music helped pull him out of his anger, and he decided after a brief career in the music industry to help other young people, performing and giving away his music for free. Taylor Bowman, a student who met Nash four years ago, had planned to kill herself that weekend, but instead of leaving her suicide note for her mom, she gave it to Nash. Not only is her name now on Nash's arm, but she was with him at the tattoo parlor when he got inked. "Just to know that I'm that important … it's awesome," she tells the CBC. (Chicago cops accidentally destroyed a woman's final words to her family.)

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