Mental Health Awareness and Tattoos


At first glance, these two might not originally seem like they have much in common, but this blog will explain how tattoos have had a positive impact on spreading the word about mental health, and how doing good deeds can benefit your business as well as your local community.


The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Mental health is a serious affliction that is being treated with greater care today than ever before, but many will know that current efforts to improve mental health awareness and its treatments can’t stagnate just yet; there is still plenty to be done before we can truly say that mental health is being treated with the care and attention it needs.

There are many avenues through which mental health awareness is spread – social media is quite popular for sufferers and survivors, as are changes to school curriculums to teach kids, but tattoos are also a popular outlet for those who have struggled with mental health.

For those wearing and displaying mental health awareness tattoos, there is a sense of community which can be very important for many. Knowing that others are out there and still fighting can inspire a lot of strength in the individual, and while one can attain this feeling simply from going on social media, sometimes the incredible distances between reality and online can prove intimidating and even make the person feel more isolated in knowing that there are others out there who are too far away to meet in real life.

Wearing or seeing a shirt or tattoo that promotes mental health awareness in real life – not just online – is important for those who would benefit from knowing that there is a local community too.

What Does a Semicolon Tattoo Mean?

There are a variety of trends and tattoo designs which support positive mental health awareness movements, but the most well known is perhaps the semicolon –

The story behind the popularity of the semi-colon is a very uplifting story of tattoo parlours across the country reducing prices on semicolon tattoos for a day. The origin of the semicolon comes from Project Semicolon, which Is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention charity which started up in 2013. Since then, the semicolon has become a symbol of hope and strength for many.

One parlour in Glasgow charged £10 for each semicolon tattoo that day but taking no profits for themselves and instead of sending the proceeds to charity. The event was exceptionally powerful and saw queues lining the street to show their support for the semicolon.

Since then, the semicolon has become a very popular tattoo for those wishing to show their support for, or struggles with, mental health.

Marketing Techniques and Free Tattoos

The semicolon project was begun in earnest with the best intentions in mind for those suffering, but a bonus effect felt by those participating parlours and salons was the positive reception from the local community thereafter. Participating in positive movements can see benefits for your business too, especially if it’s helping a movement that is close to the heart of your employees. The first step is to choose a movement that your company staff can really get behind followed by connecting with the local community to create something truly amazing.

Other Popular Designs

Semicolons aren’t the only design used to promote awareness of mental health issues in the tattoo industry; it’s not uncommon for mothers and self-harmers to recreate their scars and stretch marks into something beautiful through tattoos. Some decide to accentuate their scars by tattooing over them in bright colours, while others will choose a design that they love so much that will remind them that their body is a beautiful canvas that should not be harmed.

Other designs include the logos of charity’s which have helped individuals overcome their difficulties. Like the semicolon project, the National Eating Disorders Association has also seen tattoos based on its logo appearing on its survivors.

Common themes are those which represent ongoing life and a determination to continue the journey. The most popular design under this theme is the symbol of the arrow, but others include EKG lines to represent the beating heart and a will to live.

If you want to add your business to an important social movement, then you should ensure that you are using top quality tattoo supplies before you begin your arrangements. For many people looking to get a tattoo to represent a facet of mental health, the permanence of a tattoo is extremely important so make sure that you get it right for them. We have plenty of advice on our blog as well as products such as skin locks which you can use to help your client’s tattoos achieve even higher standards. Talk to us about your ideas and we’ll find the right solution for your business.