The sixth annual semi-colon tattoo event held on Saturday, September 9th at Under Your Skin Tattoos was another successful fundraiser for the Weyburn branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
"It was amazing," commented Program Director with the CMHA, Tasha Collins. "We had 77 pre-booked and scheduled tattoos for that day, and then we ended up with 30 walk-ins, which means that there was a total of 107 tattoos completed in that day by Mark and Ryan. It's just amazing to me, the work that they're able to do in a day without cramping and without breaks, and these guys were just super amazing."
In just seven hours, they raised $3,210 in all, which was donated back to the CMHA for their programs and services.
"They started at 10:00 a.m. and they worked straight through until 5:00 p.m., with very little for breathers in between there. It always impresses me so much the amount that they're able to do."
The initiative began in 2016 when the CMHA used to have this event coincide with Mental Health Week in Canada.
"They were quick to pull up and be a part of it," she said. "There wasn't any hesitation on their part, and I know that they were looking for a way to get involved with the community and this just happened to fit in with what they do."
"Over the six years they have completed 480 tattoos and they've donated over $15,000, it's I think it's $15,560," Collins shared. "To me, I think that it's just tremendous and the fact that they're willing to do it year after year, I think it really says something about their commitment to suicide awareness and raising awareness, raising funds, and really opening up the conversation about mental health and suicide."
With only 10-minute time slots for each patron paying $50, the variety of tattoo options is also astounding, with hover 60 designs to choose from, and some colour options for customization.
"What that symbolizes, though, getting that semi-colon tattoo does symbolize that you recognize, or maybe for you, suicide has touched you in some part of your life," she noted. "Maybe it is that you just want to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Maybe it's just that you just want to support mental health. All of those things are certainly part of it."
The funds will go toward what it may be needed for at their branch.
"It might go towards our meal program, it might go towards the purchase of equipment needed in our within our programs, it could go to anything really that is needed for the branch."
View photos of the tattoos on the CMHA's Facebook page HERE.
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