A semicolon is a punctuation mark that separates two sentences. The semicolon has given new meaning to many mental health advocates like me.
Amy Bleuel founded the Project Semicolon in 2013 to help prevent suicide. Amy has experienced many trials in her life, her parents divorced when she was very young, she was abused, raped and even suffered a miscarriage.
Eventually, she started healing when she experienced true love, David.
She also discovered a relationship with Christ. It made her what to share her story, to help others and to make a difference.
The semicolon symbolizes hope, it provides inspiration, it is about you and me and how important it is to know that your life, our lives matter.
Project Semicolon further explains that "a semicolon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
The sentence is not over and either is your life. You choose your own destiny.
According to their website (projectsemicolon.com), Project Semicolon is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide.
Their work is based on the foundation and belief that suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide.
By raising public awareness, educating communities, and equipping every person with the right tools, they know and want to save lives.
It is true that suicide can be prevented. You can help someone dealing with depression or any form of a mental disorder.
The website also suggests that we should ACT and support others by:
* Pay more attention to mental health and well-being and encourage it in others.
* Support a loved one/friend/colleague who is living with a mental health issue or illness, who is going through a difficult time, struggling with suicidal thoughts or has lost a loved one to suicide.
* Refrain from using the phrase commit suicide or successful suicide, and instead say died by suicide or suicide
* Encourage people that it’s ok to talk about suicide.
* Take a suicide alertness or intervention training such as Mental Health First Aid or learn about mental health. Educate yourself.
* If you or anyone is contemplating death through suicide, please encourage him or her to talk to a mental health professional (a psychologist or a psychiatrist).
It is important to be a friend, not a person judging him/her.
One of their ways to raise awareness was to draw a semicolon in one’s wrist, and post a photo in the social media. Many did.
Sadly, Amy died by suicide last year but her project lives.
Losing her was a big blow to many. But still, hope reigns. Amy still inspires a lot of people.
Remember, suicide does not end your problems; it passes it on to someone else. Your life matters.
If you need to talk to someone now, please call HOPELINE at 02-804-4673 or 0917-558-4673 or 2919 for Globe and TM subscribers.
July 20, 2018
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