Bench Aimed At Suicide Prevention Finds A Home In Wellington Park

Cindy Nadelbach, Victor Perez and Barry Nadelbach unveil the new bench.

Josh’s Benches for Awareness, a new Wellington-based nonprofit, unveiled the first of its bright yellow benches on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Wellington’s Village Park on Pierson Road.

The organization was founded in honor of Joshua Nadelbach, a Wellington resident and victim of suicide who died last year at age 21. The benches are engraved with information on resources to assist those struggling with mental health issues.

“This is the very first bench, and it means a lot to us because not only is it in the same park that Josh used to go to, but it symbolizes the start of this whole movement,” Josh’s Benches co-founder Victor Perez explained. “This is one way that we can introduce a physical symbol that represents the awareness of mental health issues. This is a real issue, and there is no more hiding it. We are trying to show it by putting it on a big bright bench.”

The concept of using a bench to create awareness about suicide risk came from Joshua Nadelbach’s mother, Cindy.

“Yellow is for ‘hello.’ I have gone to suicide awareness walks, and all the posters say to take the stigma out of the darkness. People don’t want to talk about it, they push it under the carpet, and they think if you don’t talk about it, it’s not going to happen,” Cindy Nadelbach said. “But it is just the opposite. You talk about it, and it won’t happen.”

Communication is the key message with Josh’s Benches. From the resources directly printed on the bench itself, to the goal of bringing awareness to the issue of mental health, the bright yellow benches are meant to be used by everyone.

“It’s an epidemic. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, if you’re an athlete or a regular person. Suicide affects a lot of people, and it’s out of control,” said Joshua’s father, Barry Nadelbach.

Among the many Wellington leaders in attendance were Mayor Anne Gerwig and Councilman John McGovern.

“We are sorry for the tragedy for this family, but if we can be a part of turning it into something that can get awareness out, so this doesn’t happen to another young adult — we are proud to do that,” Gerwig said.

After a firm concept was in place, Cindy Nadelbach reached out to McGovern while looking for a location where the inaugural bench could be placed.

“Cindy Nadelbach talked about the fact that she had a deep passion to make sure that what happened to her and her family did not happen to another Wellington family,” McGovern said. “Something that is as simple as this bench that says there is help before making an ultimate decision, is a good thing. I think to have this bench promotes conversation and dialogue. It prompts people to have tough conversations in a constructive way.”

With future plans that include benches in all K-12 schools across Palm Beach County, and talks with Palm Tran now in process, the journey for Josh’s Benches for Awareness has just begun.

“I feel like communication is very huge on a personal level. For me, talking about it is therapeutic,” Cindy Nadelbach said. “I can’t bring Josh back, but I know this is going to help other families. Nobody should ever feel that alone, as though they have nowhere to turn.”

Benches can be individually sponsored, and the hope is to have them begin making appearances across the country.

For more information, or to contribute to the organization, visit