After a long battle with depression, Project Semicolon takes on a meaning as its founder, Amy Bluel, took her own life on Friday, Mar. 24.
Project Semicolon has taken strides since becoming an American government non-profit as mental health 501(c)(3). The movement’s mission is to “present hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury,” according to their website.
They commonly repeat in their slogan that “Your story is not over.”
Project Semicolon’s staff are not trained psychiatrists or mental health professionals. They strive to direct people to call hotlines or 911 in case of emergencies.
The semicolon represents “when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life,” stated Upworthy. Many have payed homage to the movement by drawing, or even tattooing, a semicolon on their wrists.
On Sep. 5 of this year, Project Semicolon is releasing a book entitled Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over. The book will feature first-hand accounts and photos of the online community touched by Bluel’s efforts.
The project was founded in 2013, marking the ten-year anniversary of Bluel’s father’s suicide.
Amy Bluel lived with her father and stepmother in Wisconsin after her parents’ divorce when she was six. She was physically abused by her stepmother after the move, and two years later she was removed from the home by Child Protective Services.
At ten years old and again at 13, Bluel was sexually abused, leading her to self-harm and attempt suicide twice. After her father’s death when she was 18, Bluel was released by the system.
In her university years, Bluel again faced rape, and struggled through a miscarriage as well. Her addiction to alcohol surfaced when she was 30, and five major suicide attempts followed.
On Mar. 24, Amy Bluel took her own life, despite her fight to save others’.
Project Semicolon is expected to carry on strong, with the program being survived by Bluel’s husband.
Social media tributes to Amy have thrived since the incident, with scores of users paying their respects to Bluel and her work on releasing the stigma on mental health.