Why So Many People Are Getting Inked With Semicolons

PHOTO: Amy Bleuel, pictured in an undated handout photo, is the founder of Project Semicolon. Courtesy Amy Bleuel
Amy Bleuel, pictured in an undated handout photo, is the founder of Project Semicolon.

A tattoo is often something to regret later on in life.

But a simple semi-colon tattoo that's blowing up on social media won't likely ever be regretted by the people sporting the ink.

Project Semicolon, the brainchild of Amy Bleuel, has a simple but profound concept. The semicolon is a pause, not a stop. She hopes the tattoo will "start a conversation that can't be stopped about mental illness, suicide, depression, addiction and self-injury."

It all began in 2013, but it's only recently people have been posting photos of their semicolon tattoos online.

"The idea behind the tattoo is to say that your story isn't over yet. That you are the author of your story and you are choosing to continue," Bleuel told ABC News.

She estimates that one million people worldwide may have the tattoo by now.

Bleuel herself struggles with the very same issues she's trying to shine a light on through Project Semicolon. "I also wanted to honor my father whom I lost to suicide. As well as tell my own story of the struggle with depression, self-injury, addiction and mental illness," she said.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, Bleuel said. "The positivity it is creating is amazing. There are so many stories that are continuing. The best feedback I would have to say is the stories where people are choosing to continue their stories. There is nothing more amazing than reading those stories."