Project Semicolon

KHS club spreads suicide prevention awareness through tattoos of semicolons.


Raquel Ospina

The Give Back Club advertises their temporary tattoos through this sign. It delivers their intention of the project and why other people should be involved. 

Kinnelon High School allowed all students to be apart of an active activity involving tattoos, suicide prevention, and semicolons. 


The Give Back Club gave out free temporary tattoos of semicolons to all students during unit lunch from September 25-27 to give students a deeper understanding of suicide prevention awareness through a hands-on project. 


This idea of semicolon tattoos started a couple of years ago to spread awareness during September, the suicide prevention month, and now has made a huge come back this year.  Give Back Club Co-Director Danielle Wysocki explains that the point of this project is to not to have “any student suffering silently. Having more people understand the project will lead to more people talking about the issue and ultimately receive help and support.” 


Co-Director Danielle Elia emphasizes the importance of this topic as well. She agrees that “the more awareness in education we can spread about mental health the more positive effect it will have on society and people who might prompt people who need to have a conversation and access to information to help support them.”


Along with many students in KHS, junior Haley Mathis, a proud club member, agrees that the semicolon expresses a very deep and significant intention to all. Mathis says that “the semicolon means that if people are having a rough time or are experiencing a rough patch in their life, that they will be able to continue and start new again.”


The symbol can be interpreted in many ways.  For many, it symbolizes a new chapter of life and a fresh start. For example, junior Katerina O’Neill reveals what the semicolon meant for her when wearing it. “ I think the semicolon means to start a new chapter in your life. Like a chance to start over and getting over problems while living only one life. ” 

For me the semicolon symbolizes that your journey has not ended. Your story isn’t over. Everyone hits obstacles along the way; do not make a permanent decision.”

— Danielle Wysocki

Freshman Alexa Lieto gives her insights on the project, as well. She said she received “ the semicolon tattoo to help KHS spread awareness about the topic of suicide, depression, or any struggles people are facing.” To her, and many others, “it was a unique way of spreading an important issue, and I am excited to see more arrangements that this club and others have in store.” 


Senior Kaylene Munem appreciates the project as well. In all her years of high school, she has never seen a suicide project more popular than this one. “KHS has never participated in anything like this in all my years of high school. All my friends and the majority of people in all my classes were proudly wearing these cool, temporary tattoos on their wrists,” says Munem. In her opinion, the meaningful, temporary tattoos are much more efficient at spreading awareness for their cause because “it is a very cool project and a lot better than sitting in the auditorium and listening to a long assembly.” 


A semicolon has many deep meanings especially only for a punctuation mark. Although in English class it may represent a pause between two clauses, it carries a much deeper meaning relating to suicide prevention awareness. A meaning of a new chapter in life, conquering a personal issue, and not ending a life. The Give Back brings this issue to Kinnelon High School to give a deeper insight into the topic through semicolon tattoos successfully. The club agrees that it is important to receive help, reach out to family, friends, teachers, or one of the many programs assisting people’s mental health when dealing with personal problems. One is never alone.