MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: Adam shares his story tattoo story

To some, a semi colon tattoo may look like nothing but to others it can mean the whole world. Especially for 22-year-old Adam from Sunderland who has battled with depression for some time. He was brave enough to sit down with our Editor, Louise to share his story of his semi colon tattoo and to help others overcome depression.

Hi Adam, we really appreciate you coming here and sharing your story with us. Would you like to start from the beginning? 

Hey, of course. I’ve always battled with depression and self harm but never wanted to tell anyone, it was embarrassing. I remember seeing this tattoo (semi colon) maybe a few years ago and thinking: ‘yeah that’s pretty smart, like the idea behind it.’

After ending up on the bridge the other week and seeing someone wanting to do the exact same as me proper threw me off. I broke down and rang for help for him and myself. It’s weird to try to put in words, but when I got the tattoo, I felt happier knowing that I didn’t jump.

Where did you get the tattoo?

My brother’s friend is a tattoo artist and he said he’d do it for me so I got it done on the inside of my finger. When I remember seeing it, there was a quote which made so much sense:

“A semicolon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life”

Do you think it has changed the way you think towards mental health?

The guy on the bridge at the same time as me did. It took it out of me seeing someone going through the same and wanting to just leave. Like if he wasn’t there, I probably wouldn’t be now. You can’t see what someone is going through mentally just by looking them, like a scar or tattoos that kind of stuff you can see.

Do you feel like you are making progress since that happened? Do you want to help others that may be feeling the same?

Well, I haven’t been back to the bridge since haha. But yeah of course, I would hate for anyone to feel like I did on that night, like getting to that point where you just want to leave everything. I’ve had huge support from everyone who I’ve talked to, like I feel better knowing that other people know

What advice would you give to other who are feeling their lowest?

Talk to someone. There is people who will listen and help.

Nicola Todhuntern from MHM Sunderland said: 

“MHM provide a variety of services in the North-East and across the UK which support people who are struggling with depression to start their journey towards recovery. The people who use our support services are at the heart of everything we do – we will always build a support plan around what is best for each person, as everyone’s experience of mental illness is different. We often support people with depression through our Talking Therapies services, which offer a mix of support via the phone, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), group support and 1-to-one counselling to help you to apply new strategies to enable you to overcome your problems and to improve and increase confidence, motivation and self-esteem. 

As mental illnesses can often impact on our ability to socialise and find or stay in work, for example, we also offer a range of services which are tailored to help you overcome the struggles presented by mental illness and live your life to the fullest.

For more information about the different services that we provide and how to access them, please speak to your GP, or visit or call 0191 516 3500.”

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