Selena Gomez, executive producer of Netflix’s latest hit show 13 Reasons Why, and two of the show's stars, Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman, are honoring mental health awareness with new tattoos they debuted on Instagram last weekend.
13 Reasons Why is based on the bestselling book of the same name about a high school student struggling to understand a fellow classmate's suicide.
Selena, who's been open about her own mental health battle, joined Alisha and Tommy in getting matching semicolon tattoos as part of Project Semicolon, a mental health movement to empower people who suffer from depression or show solidarity with those who have battled the disease.
The timing of the trio's tattoos comes shortly after the death of Amy Bleuel, the founder of Project Semicolon. Amy was open about her own 20-year struggle with mental illness, and started Project Semicolon to honor her father, who she lost to suicide, according to the Project Semicolon website.
“The semicolon was chosen because in literature a semicolon is used when an author chooses to not end a sentence,” Amy told People in July 2015. “You are the author and the sentence is your life. You are choosing to continue.”
Though Amy's death has not been confirmed a suicide, The Foundation for Suicide Prevention released a statement about Amy, saying that her "life was a testament that one person truly can make a difference."
Alisha honored Amy's death in her Instagram, pointing her followers to the Netflix series' special feature called Beyond The Reasons, which features cast members, producers (including Selena), and mental health professionals discussing the difficulties and stigmas attached to suicide and mental health.
Tommy also posted on Instagram about how meaningful the tattoo is to him.
“I struggled with addiction and depression issues through high school and early college,” he wrote. “I reached out and asked for help. At the time, I thought my life was over, I thought I'd never live past the age of 21. Today I'm grateful to be alive, in this new chapter of life in recovery, standing with my colleagues and friends, making art that helps other people.”
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, suicide rates among women, especially young girls, have experienced a steady rise between 1994 and 2014. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) for help.
To continue ending the stigma attached to mental health issues, check out Women's Health's center for mental health awareness.