The world has been taken by storm with the new season, “13 Reasons Why” which was released on Netflix earlier this month. Based on the book by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why is about Hannah, who has committed suicide and has left behind tape recordings for her old friend, Clay, with the 13 reasons why she did it. In these tapes, she opens up to Clay about what was going on in her life, the people that have wronged her and the events which ultimately led up to her taking her own life. But it’s not all as it seems as these tapes have a far more profound effect on not just Clay but a whole group of kids from their school. Sounds good right? Sounds gripping and shocking? It is. It’s also the most important show I’ve ever watched in my life.
13 Reasons Why is good; it’s a fantastically made show with a great bunch of actors, a gripping storyline, cliff-hangers, shocks, laughs, tears – you name it, it’s got it. What it also has, is some invaluable messages and lessons to be learnt from it. At first, it might seem like your very typical teenage angst type show with it’s typical high school problems but once you strip it back, it’s a hell of a lot more than that. Here are my 13 reasons why 13 Reasons Why is really, really, really important and what it teaches you in those 13 short episodes:
- You don’t know what is going on in someone else’s life. Even someone you’re close to.
- You will never know how someone is going to react to something; just because it’s minor to you, doesn’t mean it necessarily will be for them.
- Your issue with a person might be adding to the 18 issues they already have.
- So bare that in mind before you say that mean thing. Calling someone fat / ugly / useless doesn’t make you any better.
- Be a bit more wary of your actions.
- Your problems aren’t better or worse or more important or bigger or more tragic than anyone else’s – they’re just different. And they’re all valid.
- It’s never a waste of time to learn the important warning signs of depression and suicidal thoughts; for yourself and for someone else.
- It’s also never a waste of time to seek help and to keep seeking help until you find something that works for you.
- If someone is crying out for help, listen to them. Don’t dismiss their thoughts and feelings as “attention seeking“.
- It’s important to have friends / acquaintances / someone to talk to. Just 1 person.
- School is important but not to be-all and end-all of your existence.
- If you want to tell someone something, tell me. Do it now.
- Above all else, just be a little bit kinder to people.
13 Reasons Why is heart-breaking. Entertainment wise, it’s top notch but under all that, it’s heart-breaking in every way possible. Hannah was crying out for help for so long and nobody fucking noticed and the thing that pains me the most about it is that it happens, to real people every fucking day and that needs to be addressed. In a world where it’s so damn easy to be anonymous, to say mean things without ever getting found out, to judge people left right and centre from behind a computer screen, it’s so important that media like this exists. So if you need something to fill some time or a new show to binge watch this weekend, please, make it this one.
Some important links and information:
Informative blog posts:
Things to remember if you’re nervous in therapy
5 ways to help you cope with a bad day
Coping with anxiety in high school
Why it’s important to talk about mental health in YA
Mental health and social media
My experience with the Samaritans
The face of mental illness
Mental illness and the need for consistency
Experience of bullying
Samaritans (General; all)
Mind (General; all)
Anxiety UK (Anxiety Disorders)
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
CALM (Men 15 – 35)
No Panic (Panic Attacks, OCD, Phobias)
PAPYRUS (Young suicide prevention)
YoungMinds (For parents; child and teenage mental health)