March 23rd was a sad day for the members and those who were part of the Project Semicolon. The founder and icon who launched the trend of the semicolon tattoo, Amy Bleuel, died aged 31. Officials declared that the cause of death was suicide.
Project Semicolon helps those in need
Project Semicolon is a nonprofit organization which is meant to help those with mental health issues and raise awareness on the increasing numbers of people committing suicide. Bleuel decided to found this project shortly after her father took his own life. She wanted to make people aware of the dangers of one’s own mind and offered the semicolon a special meaning.
Thus, those who wear a semicolon tattoo either support or lead a fight against anxiety, depression, suicide, or self-harm. Also, they suggest that suicide is not a solution and want to help and encourage everybody to carry on. The semicolon is used by all mental health activists and supporters as a symbol of love and support.
Many people embraced this initiative and decided to join or support Project Semicolon. Now, the organization has grown and it provides several services. Among them, there are special programs and guidance for people struggling with mental health, courses and guides, and even a suicide prevention line.
Bleuel lived a tough life
However, Bleuel did not live a life free of problems. She had to struggle with addiction, bullying, sexual abuse. Then, the suicide of her father came and struck her. Thus, she decided to found this project so that others should not live the same hardships that she did.
She wanted to fight the social stigma which revolves around mental illnesses and help people understand that this does not represent a dead end in their lives. Also, Bleuel could have found comfort in helping others and maybe she received the help she needed. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention posted an emotional statement regarding Bleuel’s death.
Amy Bleuel had an important contribution in the fight against suicide. However, there is still much to do. It represents the 10th leading cause of death in our country. Over the past 10 years, the suicide rate has increased. Activists hope that, with sustained work, they might be able to prevent suicide and offer comfort to those who struggle with mental problems.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons