Project Semicolon founder dies

Published: Mar. 30, 2017 at 7:30 AM CDT
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A Green Bay woman who started a movement bringing awareness to mental illness has passed away.

Amy Bleuel was 31.

She died March 24th by suicide.

But Thursday mental health leaders in northeastern Wisconsin remembered the legacy she left through Project Semicolon.

Project Semicolon is a movement to help people battling depression and self-harm.

Bleuel used her struggle with mental illness and the struggles of those around her to start the awareness project in 2013.

The founder of the Center for Suicide Awareness Barb Bigalke calls it a movement.

"The movement that Amy started was incredible; because everybody struggles,” Bigalke said. “So she took that you know what everybody struggles and what if we had an actual symbol behind that."

That symbol became a semicolon used when a writer chooses to continue a sentence rather than end it.

We spoke to Bleuel back in April of 2015 as her movement took shape.

That symbol ended up tattooed on those who struggle mental illness across the world as they chose to stay strong.

A leader from the Brown County Coalition for Suicide Prevention who worked with Bleuel says her legacy will continue to stay strong, too.

"And that's the beauty of a semi-colon that's it's sentence that continues on,” Strommen said. “I know from her aspect that if she were here living today she would say the same thing stay strong and love endlessly."

Both Bigalke and Strommen say Bleuel's ability to break through mental health stigmas will continue as a model for the future.

"For her to actually be willing to talk about her struggles, her battles, to share her story literally around the world, is an incredible thing," said Strommen.

An obituary says Amy leaves behind a husband, David.

Family and friends are invited to a service at Pfotenhauer Funeral Home on Saturday, April 1.


People have been leaving messages of support on the Project Semicolon Facebook page:

Statement from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: