*Pre-Warning* – This post could contain material that may not be suitable for a non-mature audience.
Surely you’ve all heard of 13 reasons why. Anyway, if you haven’t, here’s a brief overview of series 1:
Hannah, a high school student at Liberty High, recorded 13 tapes before committing suicide in her bathtub after her thoughts took over. Every tape she recorded represented 1 reason why she decided to kill herself. Every tape had a reason which was dedicated to one person. The tapes would be passed around in order of the people who have been accused of being responsible for Hannah’s death. Clay Jensen (another student at Liberty High) is the student the audience venture with throughout the series as it is his turn to listen. The parent’s of Hannah Baker are attempting to sue the school due to their ‘lack of safeguarding.’ The parents believe that the school are to blame because they have not heard the tapes.
What’s all the fuss?
So, as you should be aware, the show features many touchy subjects such as rape, suicide, bullying and cyberbullying. All of these topics are ones that students in today’s day and age will have difficulty with at some point in their time at school. Please be aware that I’m not saying that all students will end up killing themselves because of school. But I am saying that students will hear about these topics frequently because of how important it is to make youths aware of the issues in today’s society.
You could say that the show is a good thing because it is clearly addressing awareness of suicide prevention but, due to the graphics and perhaps the simplicity of some of the reasons, some people may believe that there is less reasoning behind the causes of suicide than originally thought. This is not true. As an audience, we are aware that Hannah went through hell at Liberty High. She was badly bullied and picked on and in episode 11 of series 1, she was raped.
Due to the buzz of series 2 (releasing May 18th) Wake Schools officials have recommended that students stay clear of either re-watching series 1 or watching series 2 due to the possible topics that might be addressed.
Study finds that the show could have increased suicide thoughts across the world.
These concerns could well be accurate. Studies show that searches such as ‘how to kill yourself’ drastically increased. Some people also claim that the show increased suicide attempts due to the ‘attempts by two teen girls in Austria.’ However, can we be sure that the show is to blame because of this? The answer; not really. Now, we know that if you see something on TV, you may be more inclined to do it or try it. But, if efficiently educated on the subject, students should know that suicide and even bullying are massive topics that are not taken lightly in schools.
Netflix has been very good by stating that more awareness will be explicitly displayed at the beginning of each episode and not just the ones that show graphic images. This clearly shows that Netflix is aware of what they are filming and possibly distributing to younger viewers.
When the show was released this time last year, mental health charities released warnings to students about the importance of the show and how they believed it was a good idea for students to ‘steer clear of it.’ They described how it would be negative for people who have faced a close connection with depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. Most charities attempted to prevent young viewers to watch the show.
How to get help.
If you are affected by anything you are seeing online about the show or anything in the show that are triggering negative thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact The Samaritans on 116 123. They are a charity which specialises in suicide prevention for everyone.
“You’re not alone”
116 123 – The Samaritans – UK