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.
- These Chips Are Filled With Monsanto Herbicide Linked To Hormone Disruption, Reproductive Damage And Digestive Disorders
With the growing focus on the dangers of trans-fats, fast food companies have had to find new and creative ways …
- Former American Cancer Society Regional CEO Refuses To Drink Milk, Explains Why
“Got Milk?” While this was the U.S. dairy industry’s slogan for over two decades, former CEO of the Oregon division …
- Popular Prescription Medications May Contribute to Falls, Injuries in Elderly Patients
Too often we hear of elderly people falling and breaking a hip or becoming very bruised, limiting mobility and having …
- Endocrine Disruptors Make You Fat, Sick And Tired…This Is How You Avoid Them!
When food comes into contact with certain plastics, these chemicals can leech into your meal and end up in your …
- Sugar Identified as a Top Cause of The Global Cancer Epidemic
Nearly every processed food (which accounts for ninety percent of what Americans eat) includes added sugar or artificial sweetener in …
- Guaranteed! Whiten Your Yellow Teeth In Less Than 2 Minutes!
Every picture in every magazine seems to show people with beautifully aligned, white teeth. While Photoshop likely has a hand …
- Trucker Gets Off 25 Meds and Overcomes Cancer With Raw Food Diet!
Dave Conrardy is a former trucker who, not too long ago, was dying from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, kidney leakage, …
- 5 Diseases Proven To Respond Better To Cannabis Than Prescription Drugs
The list of diseases and conditions that are effectively treated–and sometimes cured–by cannabis is ever growing. The stigma resulting from …
- 8 Risk Factors For Heart Disease That Are Often Ignored
The majority of individuals believe that high cholesterol can lead to heart disease, but there are many other factors at play …
- From Urine to Vomit This Amazing Little Device Makes Dirtiest Water in the World Drinkable
How many people in the world live without access to clean water? 1 million? 100 million? The total number of …
- 6 Most Common Symptoms of Liver Toxicity
After your skin, your liver is the second largest organ in your body. Often overlooked, your liver performs a variety of …
- 15 Anti-cancer Tips Gathered From The Best Natural Cancer Protocols Ever Discovered
The best method to prevent cancer from ever developing is not giving it any reasons to do so. But that isn’t …
- How Sugar Messes Up Your Liver and Gives You Diabetes
By now, most of us know that there’s some relationship between eating sugar and type II diabetes. But do you …
- How To Treat Sugar Induced Fatty Liver Disease Using Green Tea And Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the healthiest spices in the world. It’s most active compound, curcumin, has been shown to have …
- How To Stop A Nosebleed The Right Way (And How To Avoid It In the First Place!)
With winter right around the corner, many of us can expect to have at least one nosebleed in the next …