Semicolon project raises suicide prevention awareness

UTs Campus Events Board sets up along Ped Walkway to help students show their support for suicide prevention.

On Sept. 25, the University of Tennessee’s Campus Events Board hosted an event called The Semicolon Project on Pedestrian Walkway.

Members of CEB spent the day giving students temporary semicolon tattoos and spreading uplifting thoughts to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Students wore their tattoos throughout the day to show their support for those who have been negatively impacted by suicide.

In 2013, Amy Bleuel founded Project Semicolon. Due to her battles with suicidal thoughts and the loss of her father to suicide at the age of eighteen, she created the project to help people understand that suicide is preventable. The project serves as a symbol of hope for anyone affected.

Sadly, Bleuel lost her battle with suicide and died at the age of thirty-one, but her memory and mission still live on in Project Semicolon events.

Since its inception, the project has helped more than 5.2 million people through events and programs hosted by caring individuals of the cause.

It has also become a universally recognizable symbol, with help from platforms such as the hit Netflix show Thirteen Reason’s Why.

Project Semicolon not only reaches people by providing information about mental health on their website but also through events much like the one hosted on UT’s campus.

CEB members Dana Bradley and Owen Flomberg started the event Wednesday morning.

“I feel like nowadays everyone has a personal connection to suicide,” Bradley said.

Project Semicolon not only helps people personally affected but also those who have watched it consume a loved one.

UT student Kelly Bond said that the project “encourages people to talk about suicide prevention.”

UT student Diba Seddighi said the event helps by “knowing you have people supporting you on campus.”

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to,” Bleuel said. “The author is you, and the sentence is your life.”

Edited by Ainsley Kelso and Christian Knox

Featured photo by Gracie-Lee Strange