Tattoo trends come and go, some famous for their significance, others simply for their aspect, but one has recently surfaced, in which the semicolon becomes meaningful symbol against depression. It has exploded over social media, with many users now posting pictures with the punctuation mark somewhere on their body to show their support.
Be it a permanent tattoo or a temporary drawing with markers, they hold a powerful message for those battling mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, abuse and self injury. People all around struggling with suicide tendencies are encouraged to get the semicolon tattoo to serve as a reminder of their strength and courage to keep going and never give up.
The idea and trend was started by graphic designer Amy Bleuel two years ago, in 2013. The founder of the Semicolon Project herself is no stranger to depression or mental health issues, as 10 years ago, her father tragically committed suicide. The semicolon tattoo was made in order to honor his life and struggles.
She underwent times of depression in her grief and now chose to use that dark personal experience to help others in their times of need and encourage them to step back into the light. Amy Bleuel explains the symbolism behind the semicolon by appealing to its grammatical use as when “an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to.”.
It speaks out in a metaphorical way for those who had at one point thought about ending their own lives, yet bravely continued on living. Mental health issues can burrow deep into a person’s life, questioning the meaning behind their own existence and its worth. But their allegorically-called “sentence” does not have to end.
Project Semicolon is a non-profit organization dedicating to supporting those struggling in their day-to-day lives with mental health issues, wishing to “provide hope and love” to any who face depression, thoughts of suicide and even addiction.
The project has recently seen greater exposure due to social media and Blueul wishes for it to expand worldwide as there are no borders to how far their support can travel. She hope that it will help educate people on mental health issues, as well as spread its message far beyond those directly affected.
The organization, however, mentioned that they are a support group meant to provide inspiration, not a helpline nor are they trained professionals ready to offer proper treatment. Their aim is to encourage people to seek help should they find themselves in such a dire situation or if they know someone who is considering suicide.
The purpose to bring awareness is well on its way to completion with the help of social media and more and more people are showing their support by marking their own bodies with the semicolon.
Image source: pinterest.com