By Korin Miller, Photography courtesy of Instagram
She and her colleagues are honouring the late founder of Project Semicolon.
Selena Gomez, executive producer of Netflix’s latest hit show 13 Reasons Why, and two of the show’s stars, Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman, are honouring mental health awareness with new tattoos they debuted on Instagram last weekend.
13 Reasons Why is based on the bestselling book of the same name about a high school student struggling to understand a fellow classmate’s suicide.
Selena, who’s been open about her own mental health battle, joined Alisha and Tommy in getting matching semicolon tattoos as part of Project Semicolon, a mental health movement to empower people who suffer from depression or show solidarity with those who have battled the disease.
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The timing of the trio’s tattoos comes shortly after the death of Amy Bleuel, the founder of Project Semicolon. Amy was open about her own 20-year struggle with mental illness, and started Project Semicolon to honour her father, who she lost to suicide, according to the Project Semicolon website.
“The semicolon was chosen because in literature a semicolon is used when an author chooses to not end a sentence,” Amy told People in July 2015. “You are the author and the sentence is your life. You are choosing to continue.”
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Though Amy’s death has not been confirmed a suicide, The Foundation for Suicide Prevention released a statement about Amy, saying that her “life was a testament that one person truly can make a difference.”
Alisha honoured Amy’s death in her Instagram, pointing her followers to the Netflix series’ special feature called Beyond The Reasons, which features cast members, producers (including Selena), and mental health professionals discussing the difficulties and stigmas attached to suicide and mental health.
I have received so much love and support from all of you who are watching 13 Reasons Why. Today- Tommy, Selena and I got tattoos of a semicolon. Project semicolon is a movement dedicated to presenting hope for those suffering from depression, thoughts of suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Those of you watching 13 Reasons Why and identify with Hannah Baker, please check out Beyond The Reasons on netflix, or check out the link in my bio. Rest In Peace Amy Bleul, who started this movement. Love you all❤❤ (thx @ktal77 and @joymaryro for the inspo?)
Tommy also posted on Instagram about how meaningful the tattoo is to him.
“I struggled with addiction and depression issues through high school and early college,” he wrote. “I reached out and asked for help. At the time, I thought my life was over, I thought I’d never live past the age of 21. Today I’m grateful to be alive, in this new chapter of life in recovery, standing with my colleagues and friends, making art that helps other people.”
According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, 23 suicides are reported each day and a further 230 people also attempt suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the SADAG support groups at 0800 21 22 23 (8am to 8pm) or 0800 12 13 14 (8pm to 8am) or SMS 31393.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com