Project Semicolon – stylized as Project; – is an American mental health nonprofit organization that primarily functions as an anti-suicide initiative. Founded in 2013, the movement is aimed to “presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury”. They have been known for encouraging people to tattoo the punctuation mark semicolon onto their bodies as a form of solidarity between people dealing with mental illness or death of someone from suicide.
Project Semicolon’s goal is to encourage individuals to draw or tattoo a semicolon on themselves as a sign of solidarity and understanding; that mental health issues are not in control and that you can have a wonderful and fulfilling life.
According to Project Semicolon, the reason the organization used the semicolon as their symbol was because, “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.”
The organization relates the semicolon to the point in a person’s life, where due to a serious mental health issue like depression, a life could have been lost. By asking individuals to mark the semicolon on their body. And it created inspiration and hope because people would see how these individuals are not letting their mental health issues, or their loved ones, stop them from living out their life, or story.
Behind The Semi-Colon
Amy Bleuel lost her father to the tragedy of suicide. In honor of her father, she co-founded Project Semicolon on April 16, 2013 in an effort to raise awareness for suicide prevention and overall mental health awareness. “I set out to inspire others so they can know they are not alone, that their story matters,” says Bleuel.
Project Semicolon brings the topic of mental health to the public’s eye and lets sufferers of mental illness know they are not alone. The reality is that even though people may go around. And boast that they cannot get out of bed in the morning because they are depressed, there truly are sufferers of mental illness battling actual clinical depression. One in 10 people are diagnosed with it, according to a video posted by Project Semicolon.
Understanding the Impact
The impact of Project Semicolon is that it has brought communities together. And by showing that no matter how difficult their circumstance and mental health challenge may be, it’s okay to seek help. Project Semicolon has become more than about a child that lost a parent to suicide. It has become about changing lives on a global scale. The organization shows that sufferers of mental illness are not their illness. But rather addresses that they have an issue with mental health. Which does not define them as a person.
Amy Bleuel, Founder of Project Semicolon, Passes Away at 31
Amy Bleuel, known in the mental health community as the person behind the popular semicolon tattoo, passed away on Thursday, March 23 at the age of 31, Project Semicolon confirmed to The Mighty on Wednesday. Her death was ruled suicide.