“Who Woulda Thunk…A Semicolon”


     Rarely would I steal..not plagiarize..but steal a title from an author or organization…but the claim to this title belongs to a remarkable young woman who started a movement with a sentence about one of the most common things we see each day of our life:  a semicolon.  

     But, I am ahead of myself in this story. I am eating lunch on January 15, 2023 at a local restaurant and our waitress had an unusual tattoo on her wrist. A semicolon ‘;’   I couldn’t resist.  “Would you mind sharing with me what that tattoo stands for, I know the pink ribbon one is for breast cancer.”  The semicolon was right below her left thumb…quite visible. 

    “Oh, the semicolon.  I chose not to end the sentence at the end of my life…there is always something after a semicolon.”  

     I blinked with a puzzled look, then I got what she was saying.  

     She smiled and said it’s an international symbol to open the door to talking about depression, suicide or mental illness.  Then she stated the group’s name: “Project Semicolon”.  It stands for ‘I am the author of my life, and my life isn’t over, there is always something after the semicolon.”  Then she continued to explain the movement.

     PROJECT SEMICOLON is the creation of Amy Bleuel.  As a child, Amy lost her father, and her stepmother was abusive; she experienced rape and other types of abuse.  The trauma haunted her life and several times she thought of and even attempted suicide. But one day, a semicolon spoke to her:  

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life.

P.S. Your life isn’t over.”

     Amy posted this in 2013 through social media and it went viral! Crossed oceans and countries and on April 16th 2013 Project Semicolon was born. Visit the website and discover the remarkable resources this organization offers to those struggling with mental illness, suicide and/or depression. Their mission statement: 


     “Project Semicolon is dedicated to increasing awareness, saving lives and reducing the stigma of suicide. Our goal is to present hope to those experiencing the symptoms of mental illness and those touched by the tragedy suicide.”1

     Should I be surprised that three weeks later a church member comes to me with a wrist band on with the ‘semi-colon quote’. Then she shared her own life motto from having worked so hard through that dark time of her life:  “” God has given us our story, quit trying to steal the pen”.2

        Giving proud recognition to the waitress who paused to tell me her story of survival and witness to me about a new resource for mental health challenges, I summarize what you will find on  WWW.PROJECTSEMICOLON.COM  website.

  • Descriptions of most commonly known mental health issues
  • Assessment tests: anxiety, bipolar, depression, PTSD, suicide, postpartum


  • Support groups for: depression, anxiety, bipolar and addiction
  • Find Treatment     locating therapists/ clinics, etc.


988 Emergency Mental Health

911 Emergency Medical Treatment

+1 (800) 273-8255  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
+1 (800) 799-7233  National Domestic Violence Hotline
+1 (800) 996-6228  Family Violence Helpline
+1 (800) 784-2433  National Hopeline Network
+1 (800) 366-8288  Self-Harm Hotline
+1 (800) 230-7526 Planned Parenthood Hotline
+1 (800) 222-1222 American Association of Poison Control Centers
+1 (800) 622-2255 Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line
+1 (800) 233-4357 National Crisis Line, Anorexia and Bulimia
+1 (888) 843-4564 GLBT Hotline
+1 (866) 488-7386 TREVOR Crisis Hotline
+1 (800) 221-7044 AIDS Crisis Line
+1 (800) 422-4453 The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
+1 (877) 565-8860 The Trans Lifeline

“Who woulda thunk…” indeed!  A waitress in a restaurant sharing her personal story of surviving suicide and taping me into looking at a  “ ; ” in a different way.      


2Susan Escobar-Ferris 

Kay F. Klinkenborg, MA (January 2023)

Spiritual Director/ Companion

Member Spiritual Directors International

Retired: RN; LMFT; Clinical Member AAMFT

Project Semicolon was born.