Tattoo artist Danarae Latin (left) and artist and volunteer Lacey Ranger are designing lots of small and large semicolon tattoos to raise funds for mental health service agencies in the lakecity.

Tattoo artist Danarae Latin (left) and artist and volunteer Lacey Ranger are designing lots of small and large semicolon tattoos to raise funds for mental health service agencies in the lakecity.

Project Semicolon comes to lakecity

Mental health care practitioners and businesses dedicated to helping people relieve stress in their lives are coming together.

Mental health care practitioners and businesses dedicated to helping people relieve stress in their lives are coming together this Sunday to raise awareness about mental health.

The event is organized by tattoo artist Danarae Latin who has been inspired to participate in a local Project Semicolon awareness event and tattoo fundraiser for local mental health helping agencies.

This Sunday, Oct. 18 Latin is hosting Exposed Expressions Tattoo Studio Mental Health Awareness Kickoff event from noon to 4 p.m. at the Ramada Convention Centre.

“There will be lots of speeches by mental health workers in this community plus vendors who also help with mental health in their own ways,” says Latin, who is hosting the event in honour of her mother who is dealing with a mental health illness.

She says many people in the community are struggling with some form of mental illness and need the help and support of the community.

Nurse and mental health care worker Colleen Crossley says the event will raise awareness about mental illness, local resources and efforts to co-ordinate services for clients.

“I know how very important family support is, working in mental health for 25 years, and the importance of a team approach rather than anyone trying to handle it all alone,” Crossley says.

Latin says vendors will include yoga instructors, essential oils providers, and more.

There will also be a silent fundraising auction, with coffee, tea and treats.

The event Sunday kicks off a week-long semicolon tattoo fundraiser Latin is hosting at her Exposed Expressions Tattoo Studio in the Delainey’s Centre Mall on Oliver Street.

She and her volunteer helper, Lacey Ranger, are designing small and large semi-colon tattoos that people can have done to show their support for people with mental illness. The tattoos will range in price from $60 to $120.

Fifty per cent of the funds raised will be donated to local mental health helping agencies in the community.

“It is an issue near and dear to my heart and why I really wanted to do it,” Latin says.

“For the week to follow I will be doing semicolon tattoos all week long.”

The semicolon fundraising campaign runs from Monday, Oct. 19 through Saturday, Oct. 24. For more information call Latin at 778-412-2863.

Project Semicolon was founded in the spring of 2013, by Amy Bleuel who wanted to honour her father who she lost to suicide.

Through the semicolon symbol many people related to the struggle of depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide and their will to continue on.

The title, Project Semicolon, and the semicolon itself represent a goal to believe that a mental illness doesn’t have to be the end but a new beginning.

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