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'Suicide is not an escape': Manitoba musician uses song to assist teens with mental health struggles

Music gave Robb Nash a second chance at life — and he's using it to reach teens at risk of depression, bullying and suicide.

At 17, the Manitoba musician was in a serious car crash that crushed his skull and left him with no signs of life.

He was ultimately resuscitated — and miraculously survived. But for more than a year after his accident, Nash says he suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts.

"I woke up from my coma and didn't know who I was. I didn't know who my parents were. I went through this very bitter time," he said. "I played every sport; I thought my life was playing sports. And now, here I am, 17 years old, and my mother has to bathe me again."

Then one day, Nash had a frank conversation with a friend and decided he wanted to change his tune.

"I remember, I was done being angry. I remember I screamed at the sky. I wanted to do something that matters, I wanted my life to count," he said.

In Canada, suicide accounts for one in four deaths in young people between 15 and 24 years of age. But many young people won't open up to parents, teachers, social workers or counsellors.

Nash knows silence is deadly, so he decided to use his story — and his voice — to perform in places like schools, remote First Nations, and youth detention centres.

His band, the Robb Nash Project, is a charity. For the past six years, they've been travelling around in a donated bus, surviving on donations from supporters and sponsors. The band walked away from a record deal to be able to do this.

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