Wigan nurse hopes this tattoo will raise money for mental health charities

Zoe Greenall's semicolon tattoo, raising awareness of mental illness and suicide prevention
Zoe Greenall's semicolon tattoo, raising awareness of mental illness and suicide prevention

This is the tattoo, inspired by heartbreaking events, that one Wigan woman hopes will encourage more people to speak up about suicide and raise money for mental health charities.

Zoe Greenall felt compelled to do something eye-catching after a loved one recently tried, unsuccessfully, to take their own life, and having lost several friends to suicide in recent years.

Zoe Greenall

Zoe Greenall

The 24-year-old nurse, from Spring View, is hoping to inspire others to get the same tattoo and make a donation to mental health charities when doing so - in a similar vein as the famous bee tattoos that raised funds for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack.

She hopes the symbolic semi colon design can become an icon in the fight to end the stigma about suicide.

“A semi colon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence but chose not to - the semi colon being someone’s life,” Zoe said.

“I’m trying to spread it as far as I can by sharing it with charities.”

She added: “I’ve lost three friends to suicide. It just tears through families.

“It’s scary how people can put a brave face on. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for years, and I know you do tend to bottle things up. But it’s important to talk.”

She added: “So I thought ‘what can I do to raise a bit of awareness?’

“I’m petrified of needles, even though I’m a nurse - I collapse during blood tests! So this was the ultimate thing I could think of.”

Zoe contacted Jester’s Ink tattoo studio in Pemberton, who designed the tattoo of the semi colon inside a loved heart, which was inked onto the back of her neck.

“So far I’ve had a few people saying it’s a really good idea. Some people want to copy it. My family are all on board and are wanting to get one done too.”

Recent statistics revealed that Wigan men are taking their own lives at a rate of one every 10 days, and were three times more likely to die by suicide than women.

Female suicide rates in the borough are also above the national average, with five out of every 100,000 women taking their own lives.

If you need to speak to someone, Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 116 123 or at jo@samaritans.org.

CALM can be also be contacted nationwide on 0800 58 58 58. Mental health charity Mind also has a range of support and information available at mind.org.uk