Amy Bleuel, Founder of Project Semicolon, Dies at 31 as Tributes Pour in for the Mental Health Advocate: "One Person Truly Can Make a Difference"
"She brought real awareness to an issue that is often misunderstood," the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said in a statement
A death notice from Pfotenhauer Funeral Homes & Cremation Services in her hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin, says Bleuel is “at peace in Heaven with her father.”
The cause of her death has not been reported.
Bleuel started Project Semicolon — a movement to help those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide — in 2013 after her father committed suicide. Many supporters and followers of the organization have inked themselves with the semicolon symbol in solidarity. Bleuel herself had semicolon tattoos on her left arm (for her dad), the back of her right leg (for her best friend) and one on her left arm (for herself).
“The semicolon was chosen because in literature a semicolon is used when an author chooses to not end a sentence,” Bleuel told PEOPLE in July 2015. “You are the author and the sentence is your life. You are choosing to continue.”
Hundreds of people inspired by Bleuel’s work on behalf of mental health advocacy have taken to social media to express their condolences.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention released a statement expressing sympathies: “With her prolific semi-colon campaign, she brought real awareness to an issue that is often misunderstood and can be complex in nature. Amy’s life was a testament that one person truly can make a difference. She had a powerful voice that gave others the confidence to speak openly about mental health.”
A service for Bleuel will be held at Pfotenhauer Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Green Bay, Wisconsin, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Saturday, April 1, 2017.
If you or someone you know needs support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. For more information on Project Semicolon, visit projectsemicolon.com.