is ; the new symbol for hope?
If you or someone you know is planning suicide right now please call The Samaritans first on 116 123.
Today I heard about Project; (project semi-colon) for the first time. It seems that the semi-colon’s days of representing a wink are over and now it has a far more moving and profound meaning that thousands are identifying with.
In writing, the semi-colon is used at a place in a sentence where the author could have chosen to stop, perhaps they even considered stopping; and instead chose to carry on their story. Now I know about this project, it seems an obvious and powerful metaphor for people’s battle with mental health and particularly with suicide. It is more than just a comma, more than just a breath in the sentence, it is a real moment of consideration, where stopping was a real possibility and beaten by a desire to carry on.
Now this symbol has become a powerful message of triumph over suicide, depression, addiction and any seemingly unbreakable mental barrier. All over the world it’s finding its way onto people’s skin as a permanent reminder to themselves, an unashamed message to others and a sign of solidarity to say “I am beating it!” and to bring awareness to issues of mental health.
As I was reading more about this project I was wondering if ; may become a new and enduring representation of hope, a united message that there can be relief on the other side of the full-stop if we choose to continue our story.
Project; is not a helpline, not a charity, it is a non-profit movement of like-minded people who wish to share their story and find solidarity with other people who understand their battle. More about Project; and it’s founder Amy Bleuel can be found here http://www.projectsemicolon.org/.
There is no rule about why some people choose to harm themselves and often people don’t really know why but they do know they are struggling. By asking for help they are taking the first step to getting better.