REGINA – Tattoos can be a good conversation starter and a local tattoo shop is taking advantage of that to help raise awareness on mental health issues.
Project Semicolon is a movement that started in the United States where people get a tattoo of the punctuation mark in hopes of starting a conversation about depression, suicide, addiction and other mental health issues.
“It’s about an author not ending a story. He puts a semicolon there because he lets you do it yourself,” explained INKognito tattoo artist, Terry “Tree” Fenrick. “It’s basically your life’s not over yet, keep going, finish your story.”
The shop is donating 25 per cent of proceeds from any semicolon tattoo between Friday and Sunday to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Thanks to the overwhelming response of people who turned out, Fenrick is holding another tattoo fundraiser next weekend as well.
Dawn Buchanan waited in line outside the shop at six o’clock Sunday morning to get the punctuation mark tattooed inside of a dragon fly on her wrist.
“It’s on my wrist because I didn’t give up when I needed to struggle, and I’m not giving up,” she added.
She said the semicolon seems simple but the symbolism means so much more.
“We’re currently raising my sisters two children because her life has been affected by, you know, addictions. It’s a subject that hits really close to our home.”
Based on the hundreds of people that lined up and packed the shop Sunday, it’s a story shared by many residents in Regina.
“We can’t believe how many people are coming in and are talking about it,” said INKognito owner, Christine Montpetit. “It’s sad because it needs to be talked about more.”
The hope is the tattoo will start the discussion and act as a permanent reminder of both struggle and strength.