A semicolon is defined as “a punctuation mark indicating a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma,” but over the last five years, the once under-used punctuation mark, has taken on a much deeper meaning as it has become a national phenomenon.
In the form of tattoos, and being displayed on everything from t-shirts to keychains, the semicolon has become a symbol of perseverance, of continuance, and of hope and solidarity. Giving credence to its original intended purpose, this symbol has grown to re-introduce its importance in the form of a beacon of strength for suicide awareness proclaiming that, even through the darkest of times, the sentence hasn’t ended yet – there still more life to live.
While it’s much more than just another option during an inking session, the showing of support has increased over time by way of tattoos, and isn’t only sported by those directly affected by mental illness or suicide.
As of 2016, the age group most affected, statistically, by suicide is the 45 to 54 age group, but it continues to be within the top 10 causes of death in the US alone, affecting every demographic and age group to varying extents, and claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 people each year, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s most recent statistics.
Much like the amount of semicolon tattoos and other forms of support, the amount of lives that this show of support has saved is innumerable. If there’s someone you know who’s struggling with the thought of suicide, reach out to them and let them know it’s not over yet.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
Show your support for loved ones struggling with mental illness or the thought of suicide by wearing the semicolon during mental health awareness month, or anytime! Click image below to shop our selection of Semicolon t-shirts and gifts, and help spread awareness!