Choosing a tattoo design is always a big decision. The choice is always personal and meaningful, as people often want to get tattoos that really mean something special to them. You might have noticed the trend of the semicolon tattoo, which is done specifically to raise awareness about mental illness. Well, the trend all started with Amy Bluel.
When Bluel tragically lost her father after he committed suicide, she wanted to honor him in a unique way, and not just with a tattoo, but by helping raise awareness about mental illness. She founded Project Semicolon in what has become a sort of movement “dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury.” Followers of this movement like to tattoo a semicolon on their arms or body to serve as a reminder for the sufferer to believe in themselves.
The semicolon signifies a punctuation mark that embodies the idea Bluel is trying to get across. Amy said, “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
Since the project began, many have marked themselves with the symbol as a reminder that they are strong and that their particular story isn’t yet over. The tattoo reminds the sufferer that they are still here, alive and well, and that there are always second chances to recover. The theory behind the movement is that, even when dealing with hardships or struggles, there isn’t a need to end your story, or life.
Project Semicolon hopes to encourage people everywhere to share their background of hope and inspire others to try to persevere in spite of the difficulties they may face. Some people simply choose to draw the semicolon on themselves when they need it, while others tattoo it permanently as a constant reminder.
If you want to learn more about this amazing and caring project, you can message Semicolon Project on Facebook or through their website. Keep in mind that they are not a hotline, nor do they have mental health professionals that can help you deal with serious issues. They can, however, be a resource to use when you need extra support or someone to talk to. For immediate emergencies or professionals, contact 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).