A WOMAN whose stepfather took his life in 2016 has teamed up with a tattoo studio to encourage as many people as possible to get a symbolic semi-colon inked on one day to raise awareness of suicide.

Danielle Shaw has organised the mass-tattooing event, called Semicolon Project, at Blackburn’s Grafix Tattoo Studio on Friday April 5.

The semi-colon tattoo was born from a social media movement that started in 2013, and has since come to be recognised as a symbol for mental health awareness and more suicide prevention.

Miss Shaw, of Blackburn, who got her tattoo done on Saturday, said: “This all started around three years ago after my stepdad, Brian Baron took his own life. Me and my partner were the ones who found him.

“He was severely depressed and it just spiralled and got too much for him.

“On the day he killed himself he sent me a text saying ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do it any more’. Me and my boyfriend, Jamie, rushed round but we were too late.”

Following Brian’s tragic death, Miss Shaw set up a suicide awareness prevention page on Facebook, which offers people support should they need a chat or just want to speak to someone who’s been through a similar experience.

The 27-year-old said: “Since Christmas I think I’ve spoken to about 30 or 40 people online, and I know that this has prevented a lot of people from taking their own lives.

“I’ve always wanted a semi-colon tattoo and thought why not make it into a big event, to raise awareness, and hopefully it will help save more lives in the process.”

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Grafix Tattoo Studio is offering the tattoo for £10, and already more than 100 people have signed up to be inked.

And since Miss Shaw publicised the event at the beginning of March, several other tattoo studios have signed up, with places in Manchester, Wales, Wigan, Preston and Fleetwood jumping on board.

Manager of the King Street studio, Chris Walker, said: “When Danielle got in touch with us to ask us to get involved we agreed straight away as we were really keen to support what she’s doing.

“If we can raise awareness to help save just one life then it’s all worth it.”

Mr Walker is asking those who have signed up to attend in the morning. To get involved or for further information, please email info@suicideapuk.co.uk