At the end of my shift from taking calls at the National Suicide Prevention/Crisis Support Services hotline, I am always torn between keeping the notes I have jotted down to document my calls, or putting them in the shredder. I don’t really need to hold on to the papers, it’s just that I don’t want to forget these semi-colon moments.
The Semicolon Project was begun for people who have attempted suicide and/or overcome a difficult struggle in their lives. Many have tattooed themselves with a semi-colon, the grammatical stop and start signifying the strength it took for them to overcome their pain and move on with their lives. It symbolizes the continuation of their story.
On every call I accept, I sympathize with each person and let them know how strong they are for calling the hotline. This allows he or she to feel empowered; that person is reminded that they took control of their lives. And so, in the end, I shred my notes; I am hopeful that a new story has begun in the life of each person with whom I spoke. #suicideprevention #semicolon #endsuicide