Amy Bleuel, the mental health advocate who founded global nonprofit Project Semicolon, died at age 31 last month. The cause of death was suicide.
Amy Bleuel and Project Semicolon
Bleuel founded Project Semicolon in 2013 to honor her father, who died by suicide. The project uses a semicolon to symbolize remaining alive through difficult times. Just as a semicolon denotes a pause in—rather than an end to—a sentence, the semicolon symbolizes moving forward rather than stopping. Many people who embrace the semicolon symbol say they see their lives as unfinished stories.
Project Semicolon actively solicits stories of hope and triumph to encourage people who have faced similar obstacles to persist, seek help, and support one another.
Suicide as a Public Health Issueclimbed to a 30-year high in 2014. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide and the leading cause of death among people ages 10-24. While a variety of factors often contribute to suicide, many people who die by suicide meet diagnostic criteria for at least one mental health condition.
Men are significantly more likely than women to die by suicide. Middle-aged men experienced a 42% increase in suicide between 1999 and 2014.
Suicide is preventable, and Project Semicolon advises people to notice warning signs and take suicide threats seriously. For help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline also offers a live chat feature here.
To support Project Semicolon, get help, or share your story, visit the Project Semicolon website.
- Curtin, S., MA, Warner, M., PhD, & Hedegaard, H., MD, MSPH. (2016, April 22). Increase in suicide in the United States, 1999-2014. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm
- Facts about mental illness and suicide. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://depts.washington.edu/mhreport/facts_suicide.php
- Obituary for Amy Bleuel. (2017, March 24). Retrieved from http://www.pfotenhauerfuneralhome.com/m/?p=memorial&id=1943951
- Our founder. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://projectsemicolon.com/our-founder/
- Suicide prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://projectsemicolon.com/suicide-prevention/
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