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Kate Collins and Sara Abdah

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NetFlix debuted it’s controversial series, “Thirteen Reasons Why” on March 31, 2017 with a social media volume of 3,585,110.  More than any NetFlix show ever premiered.  The NetFlix series based off the 2007 novel, by Jay Asher and adapted by Brian Yorkey has skyrocketed many real issues that society would like to shy away from; suicide, rape, abuse and the dark side of high school culture . . . to the forefront.  This series isn’t just for teens either.  Many, young and old, will agree that high school is a hard place to be, no matter what your situation.  Many adults are completely unaware of how much social media has impacted teenagers.

Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. It contains seven double-sided cassette tapes used by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Each tape points a finger at a particular person, details events as they had unfolded and the part each person played in her decision to take her own life.  Each person is supposed to listen to the tapes in order and then pass them on to the next person.  These actors did such a great job portraying the characters in book. You can feel all of the emotions while watching and you will just want to yell at every character through your T.V. screen. You can feel Clay’s absolute heartbreak, Hannah’s loneliness, Jessica’s aggravation, and Justin’s devastation.

The suicide scene is a lot to take.  According to the Director that was precisely the point. Brian Yorkey, the showrunner for “13 Reasons Why” told Vanity Fair that “his mission was to present suicide as something that’s painful and horrific—and certainly never an easy way out.  There’s no way to prepare for actually seeing the act itself: in a harrowing three-minute sequence in the middle of Season 1’s finale, our heroine calmly runs a bath, slits her wrists, and bleeds out. Soon afterward, her horrified parents discover her lifeless body.”  Netflix in no way glamorizes the act.  After watching the show, you will never think of slitting your wrist as quietly falling asleep.

Whether you read the book or watch the series, “13 Reasons Why”, is not just trying to be sensational. It’s so much more than that.  It is creating a dialogue about sensitive topics facing our youth today . . . bullying, suicide, depression, rape, body shaming and even identity theft.

Short-term and long-term consequences are present in adolescents who experience a depressive episode. Depression can lead to immediate consequences such as school drop-outs, peer isolation and suicidal gestures as Hannah did. In the longer term, consequences such as difficulties in assuming adult social roles, more frequent use of professional mental health services, greater use of drugs and drugs are identified.

 

Teens need adult guidance more than ever to understand all the emotional and physical changes they are experiencing. Most of the time teens don’t know how to deal with their own problems and need help. When teens’ moods destroyed their ability to function on a

daily basis, it may show a serious emotional or mental disorder that needs attention — adolescent depression. Parents or caregivers must take action to help them deal with their depression.  Suicide for young adults has almost tripled each year since 1960.

The Parent Resource Program of The Jason Foundation reports that “More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED. Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 attempts by young people grades 7-12.” This story’s powerful message should not be missed.  Watch it with a friend, your parents and discuss it with your teachers in school.  Only WE can keep the dialogue going.

“First read the book . . . then watch the NetFlix series, it makes all the difference.  Remember to watch the 14th episode featuring the cast, Selena Gomez (producer) and clinical psychologist Helen Hsu (one of three mental-health experts who served as a consultant on the series). It really helps answer some of the questions you are left with, like . . . Why did Hannah stay in the hot tub  ??  Why didn’t she fight back  ??  By watching the 14th episode, I found out that our responses usually break down to fight, flight or shut down” –Karen Lotito

“This show has made me really watch how I behave because if you say one thing that can change someone’s life and I think that everybody needs someone to rely on and talk to about problems they’re facing. If you ever feel someone around you is suicidal, don’t let them push you away, be there for them because you don’t know what they’re feeling so let them know you care about them and aren’t going anywhere. The ending of this show made my jaw drop, the theories as to what happened are endless, but we will have to wait until season two to find out what happens.”-Kate Collins

“13 reasons Why was a deeply meaningful show about how actions have consequences . . . YOU can have a big impact on someone’s life” –Kerry Mills

“I think Hannah could have handled all of her problems in soooo many different ways !!” –Sarah Allrozamo

“They need to come out with another season . . . so many questions need to be answered” –Brianna Miclat

“Selena Gomez is the BEST producer ever !!” -Kyrollos Shehata

“I enjoyed it.  It brought many issues to light” -Sarah-Louise Baldwin

“Jeff deserved better !!” –Nayelly Soto

“Tyler soooo murdered Alex . . . no doubt” -Caitlyn Doherty

“Poor Jeff. This show devastated me L” –Neveah Boyrie

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