This was originally published on Off The Main Page on April 10, 2017.
The founder of the Semicolon Project, Amy Bleuel, has passed away at the age of 31. Unfortunately, she succumbed to suicide. The project inspired the popular semicolon tattoo in support of mental health. From the website’s about page:
“This began in the spring of 2013, when Project Semicolon Founder, Amy Bleuel wanted to honor her father whom she lost to suicide. Through the semicolon symbol many related to the struggle of depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide and their will to continue on. The title, “Project Semicolon,” also represented a goal – to believe that this is not the end but a new beginning.”
“As the days passed and the project was developed further, it became clear that this symbol was not just about one person. We heard from people longing to continue their story and live a life that would inspire others to continue on as well.”
The semicolon is meant to be a symbol of hope for those struggling with self-harm and suicide. A semicolon is used where a sentence could have ended, but it didn’t. It’s meant to represent the decision to continue to live when you don’t want to. Never let stigma stop you from speaking out and getting help if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Here is a promotional video for the semicolon project from a few years ago: