A local singer-songwriter is getting some new ink , but it’s not the usual kind of rock star tattoo.
Robb Nash‘s unique tattoos have drawn as much – if not more – attention as his music, and he’s doubling down by getting his left arm inked at a Main Street studio Monday.
Nash, a mental health advocate, is famous for having his right arm covered in the signatures of 120 young people who have connected with his message of hope and have given him their discarded suicide notes.
Now he’s moving on to the left arm.
“I’m covering the other arm with more tattoos, more signatures, because the issue isn’t going away,” Nash told 680 CJOB, “but neither are the breakthroughs.
“A few years ago, I was in a bad car accident and I made it through when everyone thought I wouldn’t. Even though I made it through physically, I went through a dark time where I didn’t want to be alive, had a lot of dark thoughts.
“I wondered how many other people were going through the same thoughts and not talking about it.”
Nash said although he’d had some radio hits at the time, he ripped up his record contract and re-focused his career on visiting prisons, youth detention centres, schools and more to tell his story and work with people struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
“Success is only going to fill you so much,” he said, “and I think you’re supposed to move on from success to significance.”
Nash’s campaign has grown to the point where he’s playing larger venues like Winnipeg’s Burton Cummings Theatre, and busing in students from schools all over the province so he can spread his message to as many young people as possible.
There’s also a curriculum given to the schools and students after each concert, aimed at helping students in need work with school counsellors and other resources to help them make an important breakthrough.
“I’ve had to be at way too many funerals, both singing and speaking, and I’ve never met a parent that loses their kid to suicide, to addiction, that says ‘it’s a good thing our daughter’s gone, because she had nothing to offer this world’.
“It’s always the opposite – she was so gifted, how did she not see it? We’re not losing useless kids here. I think we’re losing some of the most talented, gifted kids.”
Nash is bringing his story to the Burton Cummings Theatre Wednesday afternoon.
WATCH: Award-winning singer Robb Nash speaks about supporting mental health