Between songs, Robb Nash shared his story and talked to students who came out to The Robb Nash Project held at Westerner Park on Wednesday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Motivational speaker tells Red Deer students he’s been handed 869 suicide notes

A Winnipeg speaker who encourages teens to make positive life choices has received the suicide notes of 869 young people.

Robb Nash returned to Red Deer this week, using music and conversation to connect with young people about the issues they face, such as bullying, addiction, self-harm and suicide.

By the time the last of three shows is held Thursday, youth from 22 Red Deer-area schools will be introduced to the award-winning initiative, where Nash shares his story of resilience and strength battling mental illness.

When Nash was 17, he survived a head-on collision with a semi truck. After a difficult recovery, he started a band that led to songs on the Canadian top 10 music chart.

For almost 10 years, Nash has been touring with his message of hope for young people. The connection has been mutual, with students surrendering to him the suicide notes they have written, and the razor blades they have used to cut themselves.

“We’ve been handed on this tour 869 suicide notes now,” said Nash, whose 2018-19 tour will wrap up in Ottawa this month.

He said the issues facing youth are consistent city to city and province to province, but younger students are now battling the issues that once faced high school students.

“That’s probably the most compelling thing to watch, and is also jarring: these young faces that are handing me razor blades and suicide notes.”

Nash said he tours to get the conversation started. To talk about the tragedies, but also the victories and triumphs.

“We live in a society where we’re told to deal with our issues and keep them inside. I had those thoughts. I went through all that stuff when I was a teenager.

“I kept it all inside. I didn’t talk to anyone about it. That’s why I do this, to encourage people to don’t keep this stuff inside. Make sure you’re talking to somebody.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Alberta energy war room must avoid online morass, preaching to choir: experts

CALGARY — Tzeporah Berman only learned of her cameo appearance at an… Continue reading

Two dead, including one who police believe was a child, in Alberta house fire

PLAMONDON, Alta. — Two people, including one who police believe was a… Continue reading

CSIS destroyed secret file on Pierre Trudeau, stunning historians

OTTAWA — Canada’s spy service destroyed a Cold War dossier on Pierre… Continue reading

Premier refuses to back down on plan to scrap 18,000 immigration applications

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is holding firm on his plan to scrap… Continue reading

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Federal cabinet decision on fate of Trans Mountain pipeline due Tuesday

OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s $4.5 billion gamble to buy the Trans… Continue reading

Skier, 22 dies after fall on Mount Haig near Castle Mountain Ski Resort

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. — RCMP from the Pincher Creek, Alta., detachment are… Continue reading

4 years in, Trump fondly recalls Trump Tower campaign launch

NEW YORK — It was the escalator ride that would change history.… Continue reading

Massive protests draw apology from Hong Kong leadership

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that… Continue reading

Butterfly garden keeper manages to film large tarantula shedding exoskeleton

VICTORIA — A 20-centimetre tarantula capable of killing a bird has been… Continue reading

Telegraph-Journal wins 2018 Michener Award recognizing public-service journalism

OTTAWA — The Telegraph-Journal in New Brunswick has been named the winner… Continue reading

Victorious Raptors cancel their return to Toronto after becoming NBA champs

TORONTO — Some Raptors players returned to Toronto on Saturday night for… Continue reading

How a Montreal working-class neighbourhood’s activists changed Quebec and Canada

MONTREAL — The Pointe-St-Charles neighbourhood is isolated from the rest of Montreal… Continue reading

Most Read