Why this musician got the signatures from unused suicide notes tattooed on his arm.

Students often hand Robb Nash their suicide notes after they hear him speak.

Nash considers it part of his life's mission to help teens contemplating suicide, mostly because he knows all too well what these kids are going through.

After a horrific car accident at the age of 17 in which he was initially pronounced dead on arrival before being resuscitated at the hospital, he too no longer wanted to live. The accident quickly ended any chance he had at a sports career, and he didn't have enough formal education to land an office job.


Image by Robb Nash, used with permission.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people 10 to 24 years old in Canada. The Canadian Mental Health Association found that 24% of deaths among 15- to 24-year-olds in Canada are the result of suicide.

Nash, who is a musician by trade, now travels Canada giving presentations to students to help them find meaning and purpose in their lives.

He walked away from a recording deal he had scored with his band, Live on Arrival, to perform his songs and spread his anti-suicide message full-time instead.

He does an average of 150 shows a year where he talks openly with kids about suicide prevention, using his own life experiences as examples.

Nash guesses there's at least one student in each of the schools he visits who desperately needs to hear his message. That's a lot of kids whose lives he can help save just by letting them know they're not alone.

Image by Robb Nash, used with permission.

It's at the end of these presentations that students often hand him their unused suicide notes — a gesture that symbolically allows them to rid themselves of their suicidal thoughts.

Nash believes it's their way of saying, "I won't be needing that anymore."

"We can help people discover their gifts, rather than focus on their failings. We can help them learn not just to survive, but to lead a life of significance," he says. "I don't want others to have to go through a near-death experience like I did ... before they learn to live!"

Depression looks different for different people, but a common sentiment Nash hears from students is that they're told they're too "sensitive," a stigma he says we need to remove.

Image by Robb Nash, used with permission.

Nash encourages his audiences to embrace their feelings and not feel ashamed of them.

Even if you don't personally have depression, statistics show that it's incredibly likely that you know someone who does. It's important to not only recognize the symptoms of depression in yourself but to be able to identify them in friends and loved ones who may need help.

Recently, Nash took 120 of the signatures from suicide notes he's received to a tattoo parlor, where he had the signatures turned into a piece of wearable art.

Image by Robb Nash, used with permission.

Nash's tattooed arm is now a visual aid to his presentations, showing the students he's speaking to that if all of those other kids can unburden themselves of their suicidal thoughts, those listening in the crowd can too.

It's also important to understand someone who suffers from depression can't be cured with a motivational talk or a kind gesture. It's an ongoing struggle, but the most generous thing you can do for yourself and to others is to be kind.

His tattoo is a powerful reminder that while depression can feel incredibly lonely, you're never alone.

While speaking with Nash, there's an overwhelming sense he's the type of person who wears his heart on his sleeve, and now he's got 120 tattooed signatures there to prove it.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Eight months into the pandemic, you'd think people would have the basics figured out. Sure, there was some confusion in the beginning as to whether or not masks were going to help, but that was months ago (which might as well be years in pandemic time). Plenty of studies have shown that face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of the virus and public health officials say universal masking is one of the keys to being able to safely resume some normal activities.

Normal activities include things like getting a coffee at Starbucks, but a viral video of a barista's encounter with an anti-masker shows why the U.S. will likely be living in the worst of both worlds—massive spread and economic woe—for the foreseeable future.

Alex Beckom works at a Starbucks in Santee, California and shared a video taken after a woman pulled down her "Trump 2020" mask to ask the 19-year-old barista a question, pulled it back up when the barista asked her to, then pulled it down again.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Pete Buttigieg is having a moment. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana keeps trending on social media for his incredibly eloquent explanations of issues—so much so that L.A. Times columnist Mary McNamara has dubbed him "Slayer Pete," who excels in "the five-minute, remote-feed evisceration." From his old-but-newly-viral explanation of late-term abortion to his calm calling out of Mike Pence's hypocrisy, Buttigieg is making a name for himself as Biden's "secret weapon" and "rhetorical assassin."

And now he's done it again, this time taking on the 'originalist' view of the Constitution.

Constitutional originalists contend that the original meaning of the words the drafters of the Constitution used and their intention at the time they wrote it are what should guide interpretation of the law. On the flip side are people who see the Constitution as a living document, meant to adapt to the times. These are certainly not the only two interpretive options and there is much debate to be had as to the merits of various approaches, but since SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett is an originalist, that view is currently part of the public discourse.

Buttigieg explained the problem with originalism in a segment on MSNBC, speaking from what McNamara jokingly called his "irritatingly immaculate kitchen." And in his usual fashion, he totally nails it. After explaining that he sees "a pathway to judicial activism cloaked in judicial humility" in Coney Barrett's descriptions of herself, he followed up with:

Keep Reading Show less

When you picture a ballerina, you may not picture someone who looks like Lizzy Howell. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Howell is busting stereotypes and challenging people's ideas of what a dancer should look like just by being herself and doing her thing in her own body. The now-19-year-old from Delaware has been dancing since she was five and has performed in venues around the world, including Eurovision 2019. She has won scholarships and trains up to four hours a day to perfect her skills in various styles of dance.

Jordan Matter Photography shared a documentary video about Howell on Facebook—part of his "Unstoppable" series—that has inspired thousands. In it, we get to see Howell's impressive moves and clear love of the art form. Howell shares parts of her life story, including the loss of her mother in a car accident when she was little and how she was raised by a supportive aunt who helped her pursue her dance ambitions. She also explained how she's had to deal with hate comments and bullying from people who judge her based on her appearance.

"I don't think it's right for people to judge off of one thing," Howell says in the video. And she's right—her size is just one thing.

Keep Reading Show less