Project Semicolon was started in order to raise awareness about suicide, however, the founder, Amy Bleuel, committed suicide herself. The movement began in 2013––ten years after Bleuel’s father committed suicide. She wanted to find a symbol to honor him and ended up creating the foundation for the faith-based group. A semicolon is used when an author chooses to continue a sentence instead of ending it––you are the author, the sentence, your life.
Amy lost her battle with clinical depression, taking her own life on March 23, 2017 at the age of thirty-one, according to The Mighty. She had faced many hardships in her life such as bullying, rape, abuse, and self-injury––for a long time she was able to overcome the pain they caused. She was an inspiration to so many people, including me. I was absolutely devastated when I learned of her passing.
Back in 2013, I came across a post on Instagram that read “On April 16, 2013 everyone who self harms, is suicidal, depressed, has anxiety, is unhappy, going through a broken heart, just lost a loved one, etc. draw a semicolon on your wrist. A semicolon represents a sentence the author could’ve ended, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life. Repost and tag to #semicolonproject416.” I was a very unhappy person back then, and was in the process of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder—so I felt called to participate. Since then, I have made a plan to get a semicolon tattooed on my wrist on my eighteenth birthday, like so many others have already done.
Bleuel’s memory will live on through the semicolon. It has become more than just a punctuation mark––in the world of mental health, it’s a sign of strength. If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental illness or suicidal thoughts, remember; your story isn’t over yet. Suicide will never be the answer. There are many resources you can contact if you are in need of help. The Maryland Statewide Crisis Hotline is 1-800-422-0009, the Columbia Crisis Hotline is 410-531-6677, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
For more on this subject: http://rhhs.hcpss.org/news/2017/05/13-reasons-why-informtion-parents