is ; the new symbol for hope?

by | May 17, 2016

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 https://projectsemicolon.com/

Author - Ben Wrigley

Author - Ben Wrigley

Counsellor & Supervisor

Ben is a BACP Humanistic Integrative counsellor and supervisor. He works one-to-one, online and in person. He helps people 18yr+  with a wide range of issues.

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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.

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Decision-making - counselling

Everything has a price. The subtle art of decision making.

Maybe you’re ready to make that big decision, or multiple decisions. Maybe you’re clinging awkwardly to the barbed wire of that fence. Maybe you understand why you’re choosing to stay where you are. What ever the case it could be time to stop facing your desire to make change alone.

Pull-Yourself-Together - Counselling

‘Pull Yourself Together’ – Kinder words than you think?

Breathing techniques are the easy bit. If the source or cause of your distress or unhelpful behaviour feels bigger than your capacity to make change, then counselling can help.

The love trap - Ben Wrigley

The Love Trap

Unconditional love is something we all crave and we have all craved since we were babies and guess what, we do actually deserve it

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Who needs feelings anyway?

Living life without feelings is surely not living life to the full, it’s like blurred vision, muffled sound or numb touching.

how-are-you - counselling

And … How are you?

This time of year can be really hard for so many of us and for so many reasons. Counselling can be a helpful space for you to be what you need to be.

Anxious Child - Counselling

The Anxious Child

Take a breath dear superhero. We live in a world where we have forgotten how to model calm.

Advice from yourself - counselling

Can you take advice from yourself?

In counselling there can be many exercises that help us to become aware of how we keep ourselves in places we don’t actually want to be. The process of speaking these things out loud to another person, to be shared and understood together, can dramatically change our perspective.

river or dam- counselling

Are you the River or the Dam?

Counselling can help you find and uncover and understand your dams and help you to re-identify with yourself while you decide if you wish to remove them. Is it time to talk?

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Counselling is a place you can explore the defences you have spent many years developing and honing. They were your friend once, without a doubt. Are they still helping you now?

Men Stress - counselling

Men, Stress and a Badge of Honour

In counselling you will not be judged for expressing what you are really feeling, you will not be doubted. We are interested less in the facts of what you need to achieve, than how you are affected by the expectations. It is an opportunity to talk freely and explore any options you may have.

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