The concept was created by Amy Bleuel, founder of Project Semicolon, a nonprofit organization that encourages people to draw and/or permanently tattoo semicolons on their bodies to show support for those struggling with mental health issues such as depression, addiction, suicide, and self-harm. Bleuel launched Project Semicolon in 2013, 10 years after losing her father to suicide.
"I started it to honor my father," she told USA TODAY back in 2015. "And to tell my story of my struggle with mental illness."
According to The Washington Post, Bleuel had three semicolon tattoos of her own: One for her father, one for her best friend who was going through a tough time during the founding of Project Semicolon, and one for herself on her left arm.
Bleuel committed suicide in March 2017, though the community over at Project Semicolon is still committed to carrying on their founder's legacy through educating the world about suicide prevention and eradicating the stigmas associated with mental illnesses.