Getting a tattoo can be a very personal and special experience, especially for those first timers who want to get a tattoo with a significant meaning behind it. 

A common way to do this is by marking a momentous mental health milestone or by using a tattoo as a way to remind someone of their inner hope and resilience. 

Whether it’s a word that feels grounding during a panic attack, a symbol to think of a loved one and their experience with mental health, or even a silly visual that brings a smile to your face, tattoos are a great way to document and connect to your mental health.

My first tattoo was a Wonder Woman symbol to represent my inner strength and sensitivity, tapping into the power of my femininity. 

Since then, I’ve gathered little pieces of art along my limbs: a large flower inspired by my favorite peonies in my neighborhood park, an illustration of a woman holding flowers in place of where her head should be, a scene of my dog on a walk, and even a disco ball.

I have a laundry list of tattoo ideas I want to get in the years to come, and while some are just fun and cute, many of them do come back to a root inspiration that means something to my identity and my story. Like many people, that includes my own experiences with mental health and how my conditions have shaped who I am and the way I experience the world.

No matter what, I always want to get something that boosts my confidence, reminds me of my resilience, and inspires me to enjoy all the art around me.

For those who are itching to get in the tattoo chair but aren’t quite sure what to get, one of the most unique and significant places to draw inspiration can be in your mental health journey.

While everyone has their own experience with mental health and healing, we’ve brainstormed some mental health-related tattoo ideas to help you get the creative juices flowing — and hopefully find something that reminds you, too, of the hope in the world, and the courage within you.

Mental Health Tattoos Ideas —

General Mental Health Tattoos

Semicolon

i got my first tattoo today and the main inspiration is the one and only  @selenagomez .  a semicolon symbolizes mental health and especially anxiety for me. also it stands for the fact i’ve grown up and i’m not a teen anymore.  i closed a chapter and now i’m restarting a new one✨

Heart Mirror & Happy Flower

mine and my gf’s tattoos we got today from a local artists mental health flash today :))

You Are Not Your Pain

my first tattoo, from  @TWLOHA  and  @jamietworkowski

All In My Head

Anxiety in real time hit me real hard right from the beginning. I designed this tattoo to remind myself that my brain is a liar sometimes and it really is all in my head. Thanks  @themaine  for yet again writing the song I need to hear most at this point in my life

Anxiety Has Not Gotten Me Down

Got a cute lil tattoo to prove to myself that my anxiety has not gotten me down 🥺✨ I can survive someone stabbing my skin over and over again so I can survive going to the supermarket

Enough

One year ago I got my first tattoo. It’s a reminder that no matter the loss, the anxiety and depression that overwhelms me each day, I can get through it. I am more than enough for me and for God 🤍

Be the Change

My new addition 🖤  I've been very open about my struggles with depression and selfharm. I got this tattoo to cover scars. Handwriting - my dad's 🥰 Protea - mom and sister.   Thank you to Roxy at  @fallen_heroes  for giving me a reason to smile when I look at my arm 🖤

Anxiety Tattoos

Explore our complete list of anxiety tattoo ideas in our other article

Lavender

Got my first tattoo yesterday! I chose lavender because it's the natural remedy for anxiety. When I was in the MBU I put up a piece of A4 with "YOU ARE SAFE" written on it in green felt tip. I thought about getting that tattooed instead but this is more aesthetically pleasing.

Sitting On a Falling Chair

Chair Tattoo

“I got a new tattoo last week ✒️
As some of you know I have struggled with panic attacks and anxiety most of my adult life and at my worst walking felt like you were sitting on a falling chair, but always.
This tattoo means a new start, one where life doesn't feel so hard 🚀”
Sara Vieira

Seven Purple Stars

My 134340 tattoo with my 7 purple stars 💜 my fave song that's gotten me through a lot of things and calms my anxiety is now permanently on my arm 🥰

You Belong Here

A year ago I got my, You Belong Here, tattoo  It’s the handwriting of my 3 closest friends at the time  Always with my anxiety was the feeling that I didn’t belong or that nobody wanted me around  I’m happy I’ve found a place in my life where I feel a natural sense of belonging

Breathe

got myself a selfcare and anti-anxiety tattoo 🥰   @Raven_Creepy  was my tattoo buddy 🖤

Depression Tattoos

Grow & Find the Light

this is my mental health tattoo, to me- it means that even though i feel completely broken, i can still find a way out of the dark and grow and find that light again. even if i have to keep doing it over and over.. so um yeah this one’s close to my heart 🌼💛

Happiness Begins

So today I got my first tattoo inspired by  @jonasbrothers . I was diagnosed with depression and had ideations in the fall, I really just didn’t want to be here anymore. The boys made me realize I need to chase my own happiness.

Bright Future

New Year New Decade New Life New Tattoo. This last decade has been rough. I’ve gone through a lot of things including depression and struggling with my self identity. My 1st tattoo reminds me how dark my past was and how bright my future is 🌞 Happy New Year!

Small or Simple Tattoos

Glad You’re Alive

Glad You’re Alive.

Mental Health Mondays

New tattoo for the Mental Health Charity I run #mentalhealthmondays

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

Thank you  @JayGlazer  &  @AndrewWhitworth  for helping to eliminate the stigma that comes with men & mental health.  I wear this green ribbon tattoo proudly as it stands for Mental Health Awareness!  Keep up the good work, guys!

Read more about awareness ribbons, their colors, and their meanings

Semicolon Tattoos

Semicolon

Yaay, no longer a tattoo virgin.   Got this semicolon tattoo used in the mental health community for solidarity and strength. It shows that even when you think your life is ending, by adding a semicolon, the story is not yet over.   #suicidepreventionmonth

Serotonin Semicolon

talking about depression has been one of the hardest and best things i could have done for my mental health, normalizing that depression will be around but easier to navigate. this tattoo is always a reminder that i didn’t lose to suicidal thoughts  #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

Get ideas for how to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month and explore more mental health awareness days

Infinity Semicolon

To remind myself that life should last an infinity and my bads days are only a moment in time.

Lotus Semicolon

New tattoo in support of suicide prevention and mental health. A semi-colon representing continuity of life. Lotus flower for strength and resilience. #mentalhealthmatters #yourlifematters

Butterfly Semicolon

So Jenna did this today.  I'm so proud of her because she has been thinking about this tattoo a long time. Jenna is a advocate 4 suicide prevention & mental health awareness & the semicolon symbolizes them. This means so much to her and I really admire her compassion & heart ❤🙏

Survivor Tattoos

I Am Alive — Matt Haig

I've been reading The Midnight Library by  @matthaig1  since I went into the mental health clinic and just read this page which matches my tattoo ☺️

Listen to our podcast conversation about mental health with Matt Haig

Complete & Incomplete Bands

My tattoo has two black complete bands for 2 friends who committed suicide, and the 2 incomplete ones are for my 2 attempts to take my own life. I was emotionally abused and no one ever took my depression seriously until not long ago and im feeling much better.❤️❤️❤️

OCD Tattoos

Watch Me While I Bloom

My OCD is telling me not to, so I am posting my tattoo even when my brain tells me otherwise. I got this tattoo based off of Hayley Williams' song "Watch Me While I Bloom." My OCD is part of the reason for the tattoo and the OCD is trying to win today. To quote BTS, "Not Today!"

Strength Over Fear

My new tattoo I got. Ok I have had it for a few weeks now was hesitant to show it off but I am now showing it off to #faceyourfear. #OCD #ocdweek #strengthoverfear

Vicious Daisy

Therapists say that OCD is like a vicious daisy that can't survive without its petals, I've been taking its petals off one by one for almost 3 years now... #OCD #tattoo

Bipolar Tattoos

Bipolar Butterfly

My version of the #bipolarbutterfly #tattoo.  The symbol in the middle means hakuna matata.  I use it as a grounding tool.  I have an #anxiety tattoo I designed on my other wrist.  People always look at the butterfly and say, "hum... what's that about?" 🙄

Tigger & Eeyore

If you know me, you know I'm pretty open about being bipolar. Since it's mental health awareness month, I thought I'd share my most recent and favorite tattoo. Tigger and Eeyore are my favorite example of my ups and downs.  Do you have any mental health tattoos?

PTSD Tattoos

Be Alright

living with the ptsd & trauma of that night in 2017 has been the hardest thing to ever have to try and come to terms with. this tattoo will always be a reminder that everything will be alright and the memory of those 22 people will always be with me 💛

Be Brave

My name is Rory I have PTSD I get panic attacks a lot   My newest tattoo is written in my grandma’s handwriting. Taken from letters she wrote me over the years before she passed away.   It reminds me to: Be strong Be courageous But most of all...

Self Love Tattoos

Flowers & Awareness Ribbon

My mental health tattoo.

Hope

i just realized my twloha tattoo can double as a paramore one. "hold on to hope if you got it. dont let it go for nobody" happy two years to this baby.

Women’s Depression Tattoos

Colorful Best Friends

Added to my mental health tattoo, i’m so please with it. It’s a perfect tribute to the best friends a girl like me could ever have ❤️

Hope Bandage

mental health awareness week this year in the uk is about nature and this is my tattoo about mental health and it has nature [flowers] 🥲🥺

Healing Tattoo Ideas

Blooming From Chaos

A flower blooming from squiggles and scribbles

Tattoo by @verity_spearpoint_tattoo

Love is the Movement

Another tattoo, another reason someone is alive thanks to  @TWLOHA  . Thank you Emily ❤️

Tattoos To Celebrate Overcoming

Rescue is Possible

Celebrating 10 years clean with a tattoo inspired by one of the sources that has saved me. My first tattoo.  @TWLOHA

No One Else Can Play Your Part

In 2007, I found myself scared of my own mind. I also felt alone as I tried to accept I was gay. In 2015, I got this tattoo as a reminder that I have a purpose! Today I share my story in the hopes to reach even just one person. So thank you  @TWLOHA  and  @jamietworkowski ! #TWLOHA12

Keep Moving Forward

Finally getting to see  @HamiltonMusical  today. The quote on the outside of my mental health tattoo came from one of the songs from this show (Wait For It). Can't...friggin...wait!

Symbolic Simple Tattoos

Hope Awareness Ribbon

My latest tattoo for mental health. I cannot belive he's been gone a whole year, I'm still in disbelief. I hope the world one day changes where invisible illnesses are treated the same as physical ones 💚

Semicolon Heart

Had my Mental Health Tattoo done in Memory of Dave my ex recently lost him to suicide 💙💔xx

More Tattoos with Deep Meaning

Circle the One You Need Most

Listed some of my favorites on my forearm. Sometimes I circle the one I need the most. 💚

I Will Find a Way

Why must we fall apart, to understand how to fly?   Through all my life challenges - depression, anxiety, loss of family, my stillbirth, the power of love and my friends and  @AmyLeeEV ’s/ @evanescence ’s music keeps me grounded. This tattoo will remind me of that

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel helped me through my depression for years now and so does Brie she nailed playing her❤️ that’s also a reason I got my tattoo to remind me to never give up en keep fighting you are worth so much more you have the power💪❤️  @brielarson   @CaptMarvelNews

Serotonin Flowers

Serotonin tattoo. Dedicated to my mental health growth. #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

Despite Everything, It’s Still You

Finally moving out of Indiana, after four years of every kind of chaos imaginable. My amazing wife funded my first mental health tattoo, and it’s from a video game my son and I bonded over. ❤️

People Need Other People

Tattoo #7 inspired by  @TWLOHA  and  @jamietworkowski . "People need other people."

Listen to our podcast interview with Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms