How rock’n’roll is changing the world for youth mental well-being

Oct 11, 2019 | RBC Wealth Management


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Band members Jonny Holliday and Robb Nash have performed over 700 shows in the last six years.

The Robb Nash Project

Suicide is the second leading cause of death worldwide among youth aged 15-29, but in many cases it is possible to prevent with timely intervention1. Manitoba-born rock star Robb Nash and his band don’t shy away from this topic when they perform to students across the country. They know it’s a tough conversation, but it’s real and authentic. Through music and storytelling they are able to inspire youth to find strength and hope – and to understand that they are not alone.

Since The Robb Nash Project started in 2009, Nash and his team have reached more than one million students through school shows and social media. This fall, RBC Dominion Securities will be bringing Robb and his heartfelt message – born from his personal story – to our community.

Oct. 21, 22 & 23, 2019: River Cree Centre, Edmonton

November 6, 2019: Burton Cummings Centre, Winnipeg

November 19, 20 & 21: Mae Wilson Theatre, Moose Jaw

Robb’s personal battle with depression and suicidal thoughts started at the age of 17 after a horrific accident. He was a passenger in a car that collided head-on with a semi-truck, leaving him not breathing and without a pulse. The first responder brought him back, but that was just the beginning of his long journey to recovery.

“I would lie there trying to figure out why it happened. I assumed it was because I was a bad kid; that I had done something wrong and was being punished. That’s where I really spiraled out of control.”

For two years, Robb says he didn’t want to live. He blamed himself for what happened. But then a friend reached out, and changed his perspective.

“Why did this happen to me? My friend said, ‘It was because you were in a car going too fast on an icy road. It’s that simple.’ It set me free,” Nash says.

He turned to music as a way to help make a difference for others battling issues like addiction and mental illness. Today, he tours cross-country with his band performing for schoolkids as part of The Robb Nash Project. He invites students to give him their suicide notes – to choose that they don’t need them anymore.

Over the past seven years, through his cross-country tour, Robb has been given over 800 suicide notes from students, some of whom had been carrying the letter on their person for up to six months. The youth tell Nash they contemplated taking their own lives, but that his story and concert helped to change their minds.

Since 2017, RBC Dominion Securities has donated over $1 million to The Robb Nash Project and is proud to support his message of hope and strength. To learn more about The Robb Nash Project, visit the website.

Help is available

If you’re concerned about someone, even yourself, help is available. There are people waiting to help 24/7.

Kids Help Phone

Call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868

Canada Suicide Prevention Service

1-833-456-4566

BESOINAIDE.CA

1 866 APPELLE (Quebec residents)

Hope for Wellness Help Line (Indigenous peoples across Canada)

1-855-242-3310

Jack.org “Be There” resource guide


1 World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/suicide)

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