It’s not very often that you walk by a millennial these days and not spot a tat or two on them. Have you ever seen someone with a semicolon tattoo on their body and wondered what it represents?  

In writing, a semicolon is used as a slight pause before continuing a sentence, rather than choosing to end a sentence with a period. Similarly, a semicolon tattoo symbolizes the same idea. It represents the continuation of a story and that there’s still more to come.  

Suicide Stats 

Some people assume that when teens talk about killing themselves, it’s a cry for attention. Responding to threats and warning signs is important to reduce the risk of suicide and understanding the factors that make youth likely to attempt it.  

Pinpointing the reasons why suicide rates increase, or decrease is difficult to do. There are many factors that can influence a person’s decision to end their life. These include health factors (depression, mental illness, etc.), environmental factors (unemployment, relationship problems, etc.), and historical factors (family history of suicide, childhood trauma, etc.).  

Global Suicide Statistics 👇👇👇

It’s not Just a Trend… 

The semicolon tattoo has gained popularity over the past few years, but unlike other random trending tats, this one has an empowering and personal meaning behind it. First and foremost, the semicolon is a proclamation to life and is a message of the struggle against suicide, whether it’s your own personal hardships or someone else’s.  

With suicide being the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, it may not be as hard to imagine that even the most famous celebrities suffer from mental health challenges. “13 Reasons Why” stars Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman have semicolon tattoos, along with pop singer icon, Selena Gomez. You’re not alone, this just goes to show that anxiety and depression can affect anyone. 

Project Semicolon 

In 2013, Amy Bleuel transformed the semicolon from a punctuation mark to a symbol of a way to inspire those who are going through suicidal thoughts and depression. She founded Project Semicolon, a nonprofit organization, to honor her father who died by suicide in 2003 and share her courageous story. This social movement encouraged people to get semicolon tattoos and upload a photo to social media to spread awareness and provide a safe place where communities can discuss their feelings and share their stories.  

“I’m Still Here” 

The semicolon tattoo has been used to de-stigmatize mental illness within our culture and bring clarity to the world of others’ struggles, victories and survival.  

If you or a loved one is in need of support, check out these resources from our previous blog post and our Netsweeper solution to protect at-risk youth. 

By: Natasha Pande