The Buckeye Campaign Against Suicide handed out free temporary tattoos on The Oval on Thursday in an effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness on campus in light of National Suicide Prevention Week.
The semicolon tattoos promote the message of The Semicolon Project, a movement providing hope and love for people struggling with mental illness, self-injury, suicide and addiction.
“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve ended a sentence but chose not to,” said Karishma Patel, a fourth-year in neuroscience and president of the Buckeye Campaign Against Suicide, quoting The Semicolon Project’s tagline. “You are the author and the sentence is your life.”
Patel said the student organization’s goal is to make students more comfortable talking about suicide, mental health, depression, anxiety, and other illnesses.
Michaela Knuf, a fourth-year in psychology and vice president of BCAS, also weighed in on the issue.
“Mental illness is something that isn’t talked about nearly enough and we want to bring attention to it and erase the stigma,” Knuf said.
Knuf noted that people are afraid to talk about mental health.
“I personally fight my own struggles with mental health,” said Knuf, “and when you experience something like that you do everything in your power to keep the people that you love from experiencing the same thing.”
Nearly 20 volunteers took turns passing out tattoos on the Oval and in the Union, sparking a conversation with students about reducing the stigma of mental illness.
Sarah Maye Myers, a second-year in design, was one student who stopped by to receive a semicolon tattoo. She said the event was really meaningful to her.
“I stopped by today because I actually lost my best friend to suicide a couple years ago and I really admire groups like this that advocate for suicide awareness,” Myers said.
If you or someone you know is in need of help regarding mental health, please visit the Counseling and Consultation Services website at http://www.ccs.ohio-state.edu/.