PUEBLO, Colo. — A father in Pueblo dedicated his entire Sunday to giving people tattoos, all to raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Carl Barney started this tradition two years ago after his daughter died by suicide.
“Her name was Nicole and she was a tough girl,” Barney said. “I didn’t realize the problems she had and the depression she had.”
He said Nicole was 34 years old when she took her own life. Nicole left behind a 6-year-old daughter.
“They want the pain to go away,” Barney said. “What they don’t realize is the pain gets passed on to those left behind.”
Right after Nicole’s death, Barney said he started experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts for the first time in his life.
“I was in a deep dark place for a while,” Barney said. “I was mad at the world. I was mad at her. I was mad at myself.”
Being a veteran, Barney went to the VA for help. He said he worked with a woman there who really helped him out of the depression, though he said he will never be the same.
“I will find a penny when I am having a bad day and I think that is my little girl,” Barney said.
He wanted to make a difference, so he started this tattoo fundraiser. His shop, Dragon’s Lair Tattoo, brings in about eight tattoo artist to do tattoos throughout the entire day.
Each tattoo costs between $20 and $50, and all of those funds are donated. On Sunday, they raised a little over $8,000, and did a total of 115 tattoos.
Barney said he wants this money to go to preventing someone else from taking their own life.
“If you’re in a state of depression, contact someone, get some help,” Barney said. “Your life is worth living.”
If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, talk to someone or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.