Mental Health Tattoos

Lili Reinhart

Lili Reinhart has a tattoo of an arrow on her forearm which “represents fighting through depression and anxiety.” She has struggled with mental health problems since she was 12 years old and has used both therapy and medications to help mange it. She encourages others to take control of their own mental health and seek out the help they need, advising them not to give up on themselves. She told People Style:

“The arrow represents mental health awareness. I talk a lot about depression and anxiety and my own struggles with it, so I wanted to get it. I saw a quote, it’s kind of like…’an arrow can only go forward by being pulled back, so when you’re going through a hard time, being pulled back, it only means you’re about to experience something greater and bigger.’ So that’s what that represents to me. That was a mantra that I would say to myself when I was going through a hard time, that it it only means it’s going to get better.”

Lili had her own moment of being pulled back to move forward in landing the iconic role of Betty Cooper on Riverdale“Riverdale came into my life when I was going through the worst depression I had ever experienced. And in the end it completely saved me,” she tweeted. The aspiring actress had moved to Los Angeles on her own at age 18 to pursue her career, but her anxiety kept getting worse. Eventually things got so bad that she couldn’t stay and had to move back home to focus on her mental health. At home she switched to a new medication and resumed seeing her old therapist to work on rebuilding herself. She actually recorded her first audition tape for Rivderdale while at home but got rejected. When she was healthy enough to move back to Los Angeles it was with a renewed fervor. She went to an in-person audition for Betty Cooper and landed the role.

The worst times in her life had led to her big break, but when she got the arrow tattoo she didn’t actually know yet that everything would turn out alright. It was perhaps more a symbol of faith that she desperately needed at that time. She got the tattoo from artist Dr Woo in June 2015, right before she left Los Angeles. “Thank you, @dr_woo_ssc! I waited for months and finally got my tattoo today (second one to date),” she wrote.

Actress Mädchen Amick, who plays Lili’s mother Alice Cooper on Riverdale, has a matching tattoo from the same artist, but it’s purely coincidental. Mädchen’s arrow is a symbol of her zodiac sign Sagittarius. They noticed the matching tattoos the first time they met during a rehearsal for Riverdale and instantly bonded over it.


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Alisha Boe

“13 Reasons Why” stars Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman have matching semi colon tattoos with Selena Gomez which signifies they stand in solidarity with those who suffer from suicidal thoughts or have attempted suicide.
The semicolon is a symbol of new beginnings popularized by the suicide prevention and mental health organization Project Semicolon. Boe and Dorfman posted images of their tattoos on social media to pay tribute to Project Semicolon‘s founder, Amy Bleuel, who committed suicide on March 24 at age 31.
In a separate post, Dorfman discussed his affinity for the movement, further detailing his personal struggle with addiction and depression:

“Today was a magical day. Another day to be grateful to be alive. Alisha, Selena, and I went together to get ; tattoos. The ; symbol stands for an end of one thought and a beginning of another. Instead of a period, authors use the semicolon to continue a sentence. For us, it means a beginning of another chapter in life, in lieu of ending your life. I struggled with addiction and depression issues through high school and early college. I reached out and asked for help. At the time, I thought my life was over, I thought I’d never live past the age of 21. Today I’m grateful to be alive, in this new chapter of life in recovery, standing with my colleagues and friends, making art that helps other people. If you’re struggling, if you feel suicidal, I urge you to click the link in my bio. Ask for help. Start a new chapter with the support of others. ?⛅️?☀️and RIP Amy Bleul, who started the semicolon movement.”


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Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez and the cast of 13 Reasons Why got matching semicolon ( ; ) tattoos in April 2017. She served as one of the executive producers for the Netflix television show, based on the book by Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It tells the fictional story of a high school student named Hannah Baker who sadly dies by suicide and leaves behind a series of tapes addressed to the people who hurt her explaining where her life went wrong.

The semicolon has become a symbol of suicide prevention through the work of the non-profit organization Project Semicolon. They chose the symbol because it represents a place where a sentence could have stopped but didn’t, making it a fitting metaphor for someone’s life which could have ended in suicide but doesn’t have to. The organization describes itself as a “movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury.” They remind people that things can get better with their slogan “your story is not over.”

Selena’s tattoo is a show of support, letting those who are struggling know that things don’t have to end on a low note. She herself has struggled with anxiety and depression and knows firsthand that things can get better. She is a advocate of therapy, particularly Dialectical Behavior Therapy. “DBT has completely changed my life,” she told Vogue. “I wish more people would talk about therapy.”

In a special Beyond The Reasons episode that plays after the final episode of the show, Selena addresses viewers and encourages them to seek help for their troubles rather than resorting to suicide:

Suicide should never, ever be an option…It’s absolutely treatable. Anxiety is. Depression is. Talk therapy, treatment centers, there’s a million ways that you can find help…There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that you need help. And if you need help at all you can go to to find an organization in your area.

The show 13 Reasons Why has come under fire from some critics who allege that it glorifies suicide. The character Hannah Baker could have opened up about her traumas and betrayals and sought counseling instead of taking her own life. However Selena has defended the series for being real and honest about the issues that teenagers today are forced to confront. She fell instantly in love with the “tragically beautiful” story after reading the book and hopes that the show will help people to get the help that they need.

Selena got her tattoo alongside Alisha Boe, who plays Jessica, and Tommy Dorfman, who plays Ryan. They were already planning to get the tattoos on their own, but when Selena heard about their plans she asked to join. Two of the other executive producers, Joy Gorman Wettels and Kristel Laiblin, had gotten semicolon tattoos a week before.

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Maggie Lindemann

On August 8, 2016, Maggie Lindemann  showed of a new tattoo on the inside of her left elbow which says “not afraid” in red ink.  She appears to have scars from self-harming on this arm just below the tattoo. She has opened up in the past about her struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts.  “Suicide isn’t a fucking joke,” she wrote in a tweet back in July 2015.  In another tweet, which has since been deleted but is archived in this article, she wrote “suicide is something I’ve struggled with since I was little. It’s been a thought all my life.  [People] don’t understand how big of a deal it is.”

In separate set of tweets from March 2016, she wrote “depression is a very real thing. it’s not just being “sad” it’s way deeper than that. it’s a crunching, suffocating disease and it’s not something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. suicidal thoughts aren’t ok, if you have thoughts of killing yourself PLEASE tell someone you trust and if you don’t think you can, tell me and I’ll do everything I can to be there for you and get you help. I hate seeing so many people hurting so bad. I have been there before and I can tell you it gets better. It may take awhile but I promise you it does.”


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Ash Costello

Ash Costello has a tattoo a razor blade cutting her wrist to represents her struggles with depression and everything that she has overcome. She writes:

“My Friday the 13th tattoo with the @nydrock boys. To remind me…..I have survived the worst times, the fucking worst, but I pushed through it and now I’m enjoying the best times with my best friends.”

She got this tattoo on September 13, 2013 as part of a tradition in which tattoo parlors give discounted tattoos on every Friday the 13th.  Usually the tattoos have the number 13 in them, and Ash’s razor blade has “XIII” which is the Roman Numeral for 13.

“I have a lot of Friday the 13th tattoos because I’m a big advocate of $20 tattoos. I have my razor blade, and the heart, and the Misfits, and other little things.”


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