Many of you may have seen people around campus wearing light grey shirts with a big maroon semicolon on them. Maybe you even have one yourself.
These shirts were given out last week at the National Suicide Awareness Day event here on campus. Do you know what the shirts really mean, though?
I got the idea to write about the semicolon project when my best friend asked me what the shirts actually mean.
I had a little bit of knowledge of what the semicolon meant already, but I decided to do a little more research into it.
“;” represents a faith-based movement known as Project Semicolon. It was launched in 2013 by Amy Bleul. Amy lost her father to suicide, and she personally struggled with mental health crises such as bullying, depression and rape. Amy strives to share the love of Christ with the world, and she prays that her story will inspire others.
In grammatical terms, a semicolon is evidence of a pause that is longer than that of a comma, but is shorter than the full stop of a period, according to grammarbook.com. For Project Semicolon, the semicolon represents those who have suffered from mental illness, addiction and suicide, as well the stigmas associated with them. The semicolon also represents that their story is not over, and that life and hope will go on.
“A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to.
The sentence is your life and the author is you.” – Project Semicolon
Project Semicolon has spread all around the world. Many musicians support the movement, and it has been widely spread through social media as well. People have even gotten tattoos of a semicolon to represent solidarity with the Semicolon Project, as well as to remind themselves that their story is not over.
So there’s just a little bit of information about what those T-shirts are all about. Now if someone asks you why you’re wearing shirt with a ; on it, you can tell them what it means!
For more information on the Semicolon Project, visit www.projectsemicolon.org.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433).
“STAY STRONG; LOVE ENDLESSLY; CHANGE LIVES” -Project Semicolon