You may have seen one recently – a small tattoo on a friend or passer-by. They’re fairly innocuous, but they have a big meaning, and are making an even bigger impact in the fight against stigma surrounding mental illnesses.
The semicolon tattoo may seem like a passing hipster fad, but its roots go much deeper than most fashionable trends. Started in 2013, Project Semicolon – a social media movement project – aims to spread awareness about mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.
The History Of Project Semicolon
In spring of 2014, Project Semicolon founder Amy Bleuel chose a semicolon tattoo as a symbol to honor the memory of her father, who she lost to suicide.
“As the days passed and the project was developed further, it became clear that this symbol was not just about one person,” the Project Semicolon website states.
“We heard from people longing to continue their story and live a life that would inspire others to continue on as well.”
“Over the years Project Semicolon has become much more than just one person honoring a parent. Through musician support and social media, the message of hope and love has reached a big audience in many different countries, more than we could have ever anticipated.”
Although Project Semicolon has held events to raise money for crisis services, they stress that the project itself is not a crisis service, but rather meant to serve as inspiration(1).
Why A Semicolon?
While a semicolon tattoo may seem like just a sign of a really committed grammar nerd, the significance ascribed to it by Project Semicolon is real.
The semicolon symbolizes a point at which an author could have chosen to end a sentence, but didn’t – an analogy many people use when talking about confronting their own suicidal ideations.
The Importance Of Awareness
Mental illness is common in the United States, with many different demographics being affected – in particular, women and Native American individuals tend to have relatively high rates of mental illness(2). These mental illnesses include common ones such as depression and general anxiety, but also less common and more typically disabling conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
With so many people affected, there is a real need to fight the stigma associated with mental health conditions and raise awareness of crisis services for those struggling.
At an event last year held by Project Semicolon, over 400 people received semicolon tattoos, provided at a flat rate by several tattoo artists. The money from the event went towards the Agora Crisis Center, one of the oldest crisis centers in America, which runs crisis intervention services for people with mental illnesses or substance abuse problems(3).
In partnering with crisis centers, Project Semicolon not only inspires, but provides much-needed support to programs helping people live with mental illness.
- How To Grow Your Own Pineapple At Home
Just like homemade meals always taste better than going out to the restaurant, growing your own food will always be …
- 4 Surprising Reasons Why Taking Antacids Is Bad For Your Bones, Kidneys And Stomach
Antacids are used to suppress heartburn, acid indigestion, burping, stomach bloating, and abdominal discomfort. Half of all Americans are believed …
- One of The Best Natural Cancer Treatments of All Time. And It’s FREE!
We’ve all heard that “laughter is the best medicine” but could it really be true? Medical studies have shown time …
- What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Too Much Protein
Protein is a vital part of everyone’s daily diet. It helps build muscle mass, provides vital energy, and helps burn …
- According To This Study, Poor Lifestyle Choices Can Affect Future Generations Through DNA
There’s evidence that environmental stressors and trauma can be passed down from one generation to the next(1), but now new …
- Under Pressure? Use This 2-Minute Trick To Relax!
The habit of meditation is one of the most powerful things you’ll ever learn. Amazingly, it’s also one of the most …
- Energy Saving Light Bulbs Are Poisonous To The Brain, Nervous System, Liver, Kidneys And Heart
There is a growing frenzy about the safety of energy saving light bulbs, which have grown increasingly popular. The US …
- Yikes! This Medical Condition Can Cut Your Life Short by as Much as 8 Years
Researchers say extremely obese people can expect to die about eight years earlier than healthier people. The study, conducted by …
- Johnson & Johnson To Pay $72M For Ovarian Cancer Death Linked To Talcum Powder
“Just a sprinkle a day helps keep odor away.” That was the slogan used by Johnson & Johnson to market …
- Turmeric and Honey Together Make A Powerful Natural Antibiotic
Turmeric is a rhizome in the ginger family. Its flavor and color add depth to Asian cuisines. Turmeric and honey, …
- How To Effectively Cleanse Your Lungs In Just 72 Hours
The start of the industrial revolution brought about the rise of airborne pollution. These last few hundred years have dramatically …
- Do This One Thing Every Morning And Never Wake Up Groggy, Grumpy or Feeling Lazy Again
While there are some morning people in the world, for most, climbing out of bed can be a challenge and …
- Eat THESE Foods From The Mediterranean Diet To STOP Breast Cancer From Coming Back
It’s no secret that cancer is the disease of the century, but perhaps one of its most well-known and most …
- Numbers of Lawsuits Skyrocketing Against “The Most Financially Successful Drug of All Time”
Maybe it’s a coincidence. But probably not. After the patent for Lipitor expired in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration …
- Axe Products Make Men Grow Breasts And Develop Cancers Of The Prostate And Liver
Until recently, we never really questioned what was in our personal care products. We naively assumed they were safe—after all, …