How Do You Punctuate Your Story?
A new trend hit the Internet recently, and it’s one we are big fans of: the semicolon. Project Semicolon is a non-profit movement created after its founder lost her father to suicide. It encourages people to draw (or tattoo) semicolons on their bodies as a symbol of the importance for suicide prevention and overcoming mental health challenges. Though the project started two years ago, there have been a recent surge of supporters sharing their images on social media with the hashtag #semicolonproject. Media outlets like USA Today are also taking notice.
A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. It’s a pause, not the end. For those at Project Semicolon and all those who proudly wear the symbol, the semicolon represents a commitment to continue the story. The tattoo also works to destigmatize mental health challenges; like the Lime Green Ribbon, the semicolon works to facilitate conversations about mental health and suicide.
People who are getting these seemingly simple punctuation marks on their skin are not just those who have experienced a mental health challenge, but also friends and family members who have been the support system for someone who has. All over the Internet this week, people are pledging perseverance, resilience and support.
This is a beautiful reminder that it’s okay to talk about mental health and suicide prevention. This statement tattoo is making a big impact, and we hope this momentum keeps going. Whether it be a Lime Green Ribbon or a semicolon, let’s continue to talk openly and honestly about mental health challenges in a positive way.