Selena Gomez and the cast of her latest Netflix project got matching tattoos over the weekend that holds significance to “13 Reasons Why.” The Netflix show is based on a best-selling book by Jay Asher that dives into the topic of teenage suicide and mental health, according to an entry on IMDB. The tattoos chosen by the cast have been a powerful symbol in the awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention: the semicolon.
Over the weekend, Selena Gomez, Alisha Boe, and Tommy Dorfman got matching semicolon tattoos.
The tattoos were inspired by Project Semicolon which is an organization focused on raising awareness about suicide and mental health issues. The founder, Amy Bleuel, recently lost her won battle with depression. Bleuel started Project Semicolon in 2013 after her father committed suicide and hoped it would serve as inspiration for others facing their own battle with suicide. The semicolon took to represent how your story is not done and that what is happening now is only a continuation of your story.
The semicolon, much like its grammatical use, represents a continuation, not an end, for those dealing with thoughts of suicide, mental health issues, self-injury, and depression.
“Instead of a period, authors use the semicolon to continue a sentence. For us, it means a beginning of another chapter in life, in lieu of ending your life,” Dorfman wrote on Instagram. “I struggled with addiction and depression issues through high school and early college. 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.”
The show is striking a chord with young viewers giving it great reviews and 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
For Gomez, being a part of the project is personal. Not only was she a fan of the book, but Gomez herself recently had a very public battle with symptoms of her own mental health issues.
“I think he [Jay Asher] understood that I knew what it meant to be bullied,” Gomez told The New York Times about optioning the rights to Asher’s story. “I went to the biggest high school in the world, which is the Disney Channel. And my mom had a lot of history dealing with [bullying]. I heard her stories growing up. She’s very open about it.”
If you or someone you know needs help, reach out to your local authorities (911) or call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).