Manitoba

120 names from suicide notes tattooed on musician's arm

Musician Robb Nash had the names of 120 kids who gave him their suicide notes tattooed on his arm.

Anti-suicide advocate and musician Robb Nash wanted to honour kids he has connected with

Musician and anti-suicide advocate Robb Nash getting 120 names from suicide notes he's been given tattooed onto his arm by tattooist Phil McLellan. (Christopher Read/CBC)

Winnipeg musician Robb Nash now has the names of 120 young people tattooed onto his right arm.

Nash, who's known for his self-harm prevention work, is often handed suicide notes by students at school after his band plays.

In total so far Nash has been given 523 of these notes and he wanted to honour what that has meant to him.
Musician Robb Nash had the names of 120 kids who gave him their suicide notes tattooed on his arm. 2:42

"My goal through this tattoo is I'm getting the names of the first 120 kids that handed us suicide notes tattooed on my arm," said Nash. "So many of these kids have our lyrics or our logo tattooed on them and I want to show them that they're as much a part of my life as I might be of their's."

Nash hopes the tattoo will be a powerful tool as he continues his outreach work.

"I want to be able to show kids that are feeling suicidal, look, look at the names on my arm," said Nash. "These were all kids that were just like you. You're not alone. They were also in that dark place, and they are still here today."

Nash was getting the tattooing done all in one shot on Thursday at The Parlour on Main Street. But he wasn't going through it alone.

Taylor Bowman, one of the students who gave Nash her suicide note, helped keep him company while the inking got done.

"She was planning to take her life on the weekend," said Bowman of their first meeting four years ago.

"She was planning to leave a suicide note and a bracelet for her Mom. And rather than leaving it there for her she gave it to me that day and she said, 'I get it now.' And she had a breakthrough that day."
Taylor Bowman talks about how she was able to turn her life around through help from musician Robb Nash. 1:23

Bowman continues to stay connected to Nash and his band. She attends shows and monitors Twitter for posts from Nash's followers which may indicate they are in crisis.

"As soon as we see that someone is feeling low and not so very good about themselves we just kind of try to bombard them with as much love and support as we can so that they know they are not alone," said Bowman.

Bowman is still processing the fact that her name will be on Nash's arm.

"It's pretty crazy," she said. "Just to know that I'm that important...It's awesome."
Tattooist Phil McLellan tattooing 120 names onto Robb Nash's arm. (Travis Golby/CBC)