Five years ago, Canadian musician Robb Nash started collecting unneeded suicide notes.
Nash had been invited to speak at a school where a student had recently taken her life, BuzzFeed reports. He shared his own story of overcoming suicidal thoughts after a car accident left him unable to play his favourite sport.
Following his presentation, something incredible happened: A student approached Nash and handed over a suicide note she had prepared. She told him she didn’t need it anymore.
Since then, Nash has continued to speak to students about suicide, bullying, substance abuse, and mental health. He’s collected 535 suicide notes from students who decided they didn’t want to use them.
And one month ago, Nash commemorated these letters by getting 120 tattoos — one for each signature on the first 120 notes he received.
Nash said he doesn’t plan to have any additional names tattooed, but he’s using the 120 he already has to deliver a powerful message.
“I point at my hand and say, ‘Look at my arm. These kids had the same thoughts as you, and they’re still here,'” he told BuzzFeed. “I want to tell my story so people don’t have to die before they decide they want to live.”
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