Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. (Photo submitted)

Okanagan show supports youth mental health, suicide prevention

Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

More than 600 students across the country have given him their suicide notes.

Hundreds of youth who self-harm gave him their razor blades.

Countless more have relinquished bottles of pills and other drugs.

Award-winning Canadian musician Robb Nash has reached more than one million young people through story, song and picture. Touring from coast to coast for the past 10 years, The Robb Nash Project explores sensitive topics such as suicide, addiction, self-harm and other mental-health related subjects. Nash is set to perform for the Canadian Mental Health Association Oct. 2-3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

“When we heard of Robb’s powerful message and impact on youth, it was important to bring him here,” said Julia Payson, executive director of the Vernon and District branch of the CMHA.

“With our communities suffering from an opioid crisis and suicide being the second leading cause of death for Canadian youth, Robb has a life-changing message for teens, teachers, parents and all community members.”

Related: CMHA Vernon offers suicide prevention training

Related: CMHA hosts Suicide Loss Facilitation Workshop in Vernon

Following a life-threatening car accident, Nash found himself dealing with unimaginable mental and physical pain, enduring years of anger, self-doubt and depression. He discovered his purpose and passion and began reaching out to young people through rock music and lyrics, encouraging them to explore their own meaning and purpose in a language they understood.

Through personal stories, humour, songs and videos, Nash sensitively deals with serious issues, focusing on examples of victory and hope. He and his band tour the country performing in schools, detention centres, reserves and other youth venues as part of a 150-date-per-year tour.

“We are very excited to be part of The Robb Nash Project this year,” said Payson. “Because of support from local organizations who help fund our suicide prevention programs, we are able to bring this powerful message to our youth free of charge.”

Audience feedback from the shows consistently includes stories of remarkable personal breakthrough, a realization of self-worth and personal growth. Many who were self-harming have kept in touch with Nash long after the show, sending him pictures and notes about how they’ve managed to stop, citing his presentation as the catalyst.

The Robb Nash Project will take place Oct. 2-3 at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre, including free 10 a.m. concerts for North Okanagan youth Grades 7 to 10 and an evening community fundraising performance on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.

Event proceeds from the Oct. 3 community performance will support the Robb Nash Project and CMHA Vernon and District. Tickets are $5 for Grade 8-12 students, $20 general and $45 VIP Q&A from the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.

Founded in 1959, CMHA Vernon and District has been saving and changing lives while improving mental health in the community. CMHA provides programs and services for individuals and families of all ages across the spectrum of mental health with approximately 600 people monthly receiving support, education and rehabilitation.


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