"It's not just a semicolon; it's hope, it's inspiration, it's who. we. are."
These are the words written at the top of Project Semicolon's website. Project Semicolon is an anti-suicide organization that focuses on raising awareness about the issues surrounding suicide. Many find the subject matter to be extremely taboo, but talking about it could literally save lives. Many people don't understand why some choose to kill themselves, or what leads to that decision. Project Semicolon wants to change that.
What Leads To Suicide?
There are many mental illnesses that can lead to suicidal thoughts. Those listed on the website include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, addiction, postpartum, schizophrenia, dissociative, and eating disorders.
Each disorder listed includes an explanation of what it is, and how it affects you. For example, if you click on the depression tab, it gives a brief explanation of how depression would make you feel. It also states that your emotional health can begin to cause physical symptoms as well and decrease your productivity at work or at home.
A list of symptoms are included, as well as what it would take to receive a diagnosis. Fortunately, the website also gives several ways that depression is treatable and provides self-help and coping mechanisms.
75% of Suicide Victims Share Their Plans
It's important to realize that those contemplating suicide want to live, but they also want to die. They are in immense amounts of pain, and suffering. However, the most important thing for suicidal people to understand is that it passes. The pain wont last forever.
If someone you know is suicidal, the goal isn't necessarily to talk them out of anything, but to engage them and get them involved with some help so that they can get the treatment that they need.
22 Daily Suicides Are Veterans of the U.S. Military
The Mission 22 website states, "We're fighting a war against veteran suicide, and we're losing. Yesterday, over 20 Veterans were lost to suicide. That makes the war at home more dangerous than all of our combat missions around the world."
Many people don't understand the sacrifice that our veterans make everyday. When you return from war, you are wounded. Many times, mental and emotional scars are worse than the physical ones.
It's important to bring awareness to this issue so that we can see change. Mission 22 has comprehensive programs to treat veterans suffering from PTS and TBI. They also have partnered with other organizations that offer amazing services to veterans as well as doctors and treatment facilities across the country.
90% of Suicides are Diagnosed and Treatable
"For reasons we don't fully understand, some people reach such depths of despair and pain that they begin to believe that they would be better off dead," said Dr. John Campo, the chair of psychiatry and behavioral health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Many times suicide appears to be mysterious and unavoidable, but it most definitely can be stopped. According to Alan Berman, president of IASP and executive director of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), 90% of people in the developed world that attempt suicide has psychological issues. The tragedy in all of this is that we have an effective treatment for those issues, but people die because of a temporary feeling of hopelessness that could have been helped.
According to LifeScience.com, "Improving diagnosis of mental health conditions can help, too. Most people who commit suicide have seen a doctor within the last year, but many do not get diagnosed with the mental illness that will ultimately kill them. "
The Mission of Project Semicolon
Project Semicolon believes that suicide is generally preventable. With that belief comes their mission to "help reduce the incidents of suicide in the world through connected community and greater access to information and resources."
Project Semicolon also believes that suicide prevention is the collective responsibility of each and every person on the planet. Their mission resonated with the recent cast of the Netflix series, '13 Reasons Why'. Selena Gomez, the executive producer of the show centered around teenage suicide, got a semicolon tattoo in support of the show's message. Other cast mates that joined Selena were Alisha Boe, Tommy Dorfman, and Brandon Flynn. They all took to Instagram to share their ink, and spread the mission of project semicolon.
Today was a magical day. Another day to be grateful to be alive. Alisha, Selena, and I went together to get ; tattoos. The ; symbol stands for an end of one thought and a beginning of another. Instead of a period, authors use the semicolon to continue a sentence. For us, it means a beginning of another chapter in life, in lieu of ending your life. I struggled with addiction and depression issues through high school and early college. I reached out and asked for help. At the time, I thought my life was over, I thought I'd never live past the age of 21. Today I'm grateful to be alive, in this new chapter of life in recovery, standing with my colleagues and friends, making art that helps other people. If you're struggling, if you feel suicidal, I urge you to click the link in my bio. Ask for help. Start a new chapter with the support of others. 🌧⛅️🌤☀️and RIP Amy Bleul, who started the semicolon movement.