Robb Nash delivered a powerful message of strength and hope, encouraging Grade 8 to 12 students to lead lives of significance and purpose.
Through personal stories, song and video, Nash sensitively discussed serious issues including drug and alcohol addiction, bullying, self-harm, depression and suicide at the Shaw Centre last Tuesday.
After sustaining a life-threatening accident as teen, Nash, lead singer of the Robb Nash Project, fell into a downward spiral of anger, self-doubt and depression.
Since recovering from significant physical injuries, Nash found music and his band gained national appeal and praise.
In 2007, Nash had the opportunity to speak to students at a school about social issues facing teens. He said he realized many people don’t get a second chance at life and decided he was going to make the most of his second chance, using his story to encourage people not to wait until a tragedy to make every day count.
Nash walked away from his record contract and fame with the goal to perform at more than 150 schools, detention centres, First Nations communities and other venues in a year.
With seemingly unlimited energy, Nash performed impersonations of some well-known pop culture icons to grab the students’ attention.
The show took on a more serious tone when Nash retold his chilling brush with death, incorporating song lyrics and personal stories.
He then delved into difficult-to-talk-about subject such as depression and suicide.
The most eyebrow-raising part of the show was when Nash reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of suicide notes students had given to him, stating they did not need them anymore.
Nash had received these notes in the past two weeks, adding to the hundreds received over the past year.
He said it’s not just students that come to him, but also teachers and parents in the audience.
“You have to overcome the demons in your head and follow your heart, because you do matter and you do have a purpose,” said Nash.
Delivering his message to close to 100,000 students a year, Nash said he hopes he can make a difference in the lives of youth by helping them realize their self-worth.
He is so passionate about getting his message out, that he does not charge a dime to the schools for the presentation.