Most of us will know the semicolon as a punctuation mark which separates major sentence elements; but to many people it means a lot more than that.
The symbol was adopted by The Semicolon Project - an organisation set up in 2013 by founder Amy Bleuel. At the age of 18 she lost her father, which was something that hit her emotionally and mentally – she decided to get a tattoo to honour the memory of him and chose a semicolon.
She stated later in an interview, “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”.
Amy’s organisation is dedicated to the prevention of suicide. With their slogan, "your story isn't over". The Semicolon Project aims to help people realise there is life after a suicide attempt or severe depression.
The semicolon is also used widely by people around the world who are affected by mental health issues in general. It is seen as a symbol of people overcoming issues that could have had a negative effect on their life and managing to continue on their journey.
Millions of people have had tattoos featuring semicolons to mark their battle with depression, addiction and mental illness. Many say it gives them hope that they can get through their darkest days.
But what if you don’t want something as permanent as a tattoo? Semicolon jewellery is a way to wear a symbol of personal strength or a mark of support for those living with mental illness and addiction.
If you or someone you know is living with depression, there are people that you can talk to day, or night. Here are a few charities that you may find useful:
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