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Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo like the above ?
And no, it’s not just the mark of a really committed grammar nerd. The semicolon tattoo has serious meaning behind it.
To be continued : because your story isn’t over. Because your life matter. Because you are not alone.
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.
Project Semicolon, a non-profit with a goal of promoting mental health wellness and suicide prevention that was founded by Amy Bleuel in 2013.
But why a semicolon?
The semicolon, the project’s logo of sorts, is meant to represent a continuation, specifically of life, not an end. It marks a decision to move forward, not to stop. It indicates pause. An indication of connection between sentences. Often causing confusion yet important to empathise relationships. A pause to let the reader know there is more to the story.
The semicolon symbol inspires hope in those who need it most but also brings awareness to mental health issues and wellness as a whole.
The semicolon, though small, symbolises a message that can breach the darkness of people’s minds by providing light. As a tattoo, it does the same by serving as a reminder of the love and support the world offers. No matter what it means to each individual, the semicolon works to generate strength and positivity whenever and wherever they are needed most.
The people you see walking around with semicolons tattoos are survivors. They struggle with an invisible disease on a daily basis, have experienced heartbreaking tragedy, have struggled with or experienced suicide. Or, they are those who stand with the survivors.
May : Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
1 in 5. The number of people who will be affected by mental illness in any given year. This person could be sitting next to you. This person is living in your house. This person is a part of your family. This person could be (is) you.
The person who suffer with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts knows how well people can hide it behind a smile. A smile hides a thousand words. They all seem fine on the outside but on the inside they are screaming for help to take the pain away. Most of the time, they don’t always know what cause it. It’s just there as a demon that never goes away.
Project Semicolon notes that 75 percent of suicide victims share their plans ahead of time. Therefore, it’s incumbent on friends, family, educators and everyone to reach out to those they believe might be struggling. Even small actions can make the difference to saving a person’s life. Even if this illness is not yours to fight, you are impacted by knowing and loving someone who is.
Support your 1 in 5. Show them that you see them. You hear them. You love them. Show them that they are stronger than their mental illness. Show them that they are more than what it tells them who they are. Show them that their illness does not make them less of a person. Support them to take a pause in their day.
Support them to care for themselves. Convince them that they have more to their story. And so do you. Share it. Talk about it. Reveal it. Because your story is never over. Because you are always enough. Because you are never alone. Because you are loved and worth saving.
Editorial note :
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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