BOISE, Idaho — Saturday is the end of the national suicide prevention week, and to commemorate, Resurrection Tattoo and Piercing partnered with the Idaho Crisis and Suicide Hotline to give semi-colon tattoos. That symbol has grown in popularity for the cause of suicide prevention in the last decade.
“In language basically where you can end a sentence but you chose to continue the sentence and use a semi-colon," said Andrew Sheffield, a crisis supervisor with ICSH. "Well (Amy Bleuel) transitioned that into ‘could’ve ended our life but made the decision to continue on. So that’s where the semi-colon comes from.”
Each tattoo was $50, half of that going to ICSH and the other half going to supplies to provide the tattoos. This in an effort to raise money and awareness, especially in Idaho where the suicide rate is 1.4 times the national average.
“It touches everybody," Sheffield said. "Man it doesn’t matter how much money you have, how successful you are or anything. I think most of us have either personally known somebody, had a family member, or had thoughts ourselves of contemplating suicide at one time or not. So, it’s one of those things that just can join and I think that’s one of the things we need.”
The shop has been participating in this event for seven years, only taking a break in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Amilie Turner is a manager at the shop, and the topic is something she is passionate about. That is why she has a semi-colon on her wrist.
“I had a sister that came close to death with depression and it was important to me to let her know that I see her," said Turner. “I think mental health is the biggest crisis we have in our country at this moment. As a veteran, I know that 22 of us die a day, and it’s important to bring visibility to the subject and to normalize it so that more people have access to care.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, call 988. More information can be found on the ICSH website.