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How a Simple Semicolon Tattoo is Giving Hope To People in Pain

The punctuation mark has become an important symbol to those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Tattoos tell a story. Sometimes that story is as meaningful as memorializing a past relationship. Other times, it tells the story of “I got this when I was drunk.” Recently, an organization known as Project Semicolon came up with the idea of creating tattoos for the greater good. Tattoo semicolons would be used to symbolize the hope of people who could have ended their life—or ended the sentence—but decided to charge forward, with hope. Nearly two years after the project’s start, hundreds of people across the globe have responded with enthusiasm, engagement, and tattoos.


Project Semicolon started with founder Amy Bleuel, who developed the project when she was 18, after losing her father to suicide. While the organization is faith-based, Bleuel stressed that her doors are open to people of all faiths. The project’s mission statement reads that their goal is bigger than preventing suicide: “[We’re] dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury.” Suicide is one of the top ten leading causes of death in America. Approximately 41,149 suicides were recorded in 2013 alone. Bleuel’s hope is to encourage people not to end their sentence with a period, but to extend their lives with a semicolon.

“You are your life and your life is your sentence,” wrote one participant. “Don’t let your sentence end.”

Check out people’s stories and tattoos below, or here on Twitter.

(Via: The Huffington Post)