In businesses throughout Lincoln County, customers will find memorabilia for sale that features a semicolon.
In literature, this punctuation mark is used to denote the end of one thought, but there is more to add to the sentence. Wylee Mitchell of Pioche is using this idea to help stop future suicides. Her efforts are not going unnoticed, with KSL News in Salt Lake City and News 3 Las Vegas recently doing stories on the 17-year-old.
In Nevada, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. A study by the foundation noted, “64.6 percent of communities did not have enough mental health providers to serve residents in 2020, according to federal guidelines,” and suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-34.
Mitchell recently told News 3, “One of my best friends lost his life to suicide…I put a lot of that guilt on myself of letting that happen and I went to a very negative place with that.”
Mitchell decided to turn her sorrow into an outlet to help those who feel there is no hope. She started the “Y Stop Now” movement a few months ago and has sold around 400 shirts in more than 20 states around the country. On each shirt is a semicolon that helps remind people their story is yet to be finished.
“In writing, a semicolon is used when an author could’ve ended his sentence but chose not to,” Mitchell told News 3, “I love that idea of you being the author, and the sentence being your life.”
This movement, along with other efforts like the suicide prevention walk held in Caliente earlier this month, are helping people to know there is hope and help available in the darkest of times.
Shirts are available in local stores or at https://www.ybrandusa.com/product-page/y-stop-now, and $5 from each purchase will go to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, an organization that helps suicide survivors and those who are walking the path to recovery.
“My message of hope is to encourage yourself,” Mitchell says, “Believe in yourself and love yourself. Everyone is here for a reason, and your story is just getting started.”