“Thirteen Reasons Why” is a new show on Netflix that has become an instant hit. It was originally a book by Jay Asher, a young adult bestseller, about what can happen when bullying, sexting, betrayed friendships, and loneliness becomes too much for a person to handle. This book and show aren't just a work of fiction, it holds so much truth and value that people in our society, especially those in middle and high school, need to realize.
Many people have heard the saying that words can kill, however not many people actually believe this. This show really embodies this saying and shows step by step how words can knock someone down and how eventually it gets to be too much. This show also brings to light how people need to be more aware of their peers and how to look for signs of depression and suicide. “I’m listening to someone give up. Someone I knew. Someone I liked. I’m listening but I’m still too late.”
Before I tell you the reasons why this show is important, you should know what it’s about. Hannah Baker, one of the main characters, moves to Liberty High School and seems like your typical teenage girl. She has a job, friends, a boyfriend, and is invited to all the parties. But even though it seems as if she is fitting in, there is a lot going on behind closed doors. She is bullied and unhappy, leading her to believe the only option is to kill herself. Before she dies she creates tapes that explain why she is going to commit suicide, and these tapes get circulated to everyone that she believes has a part in her death.
Now, here are the four major lessons that we could all learn from:
First, the main character Hannah Baker could be any girl at any school. On the outside, she seems to be fine, happy even, but on the inside she is upset, lonely, and afraid. You never know what a person is going through because we as a society have been taught to smile through the pain and pretend that everything is okay.
Second, everyone had the chance to save Hannah. There were many signs of depression that went unnoticed by Hannah’s peers. People need to become more aware of these signs and take action when they see them. People also need to realize that their actions and words can hurt someone. I don’t want to give away any details or spoilers, but what I will say is that sometimes bullying is so accepted that it goes unpunished, and that is never right.
Third, there isn’t one big reason that makes someone commit suicide, in fact it’s often many small reasons just like in the show. In Hannah Baker’s case, some of her reasons were so small and relatable you find yourself thinking that she was overreacting, but when you look at the bigger picture you can see that the one minor incident was just another push towards the edge. For example, one raindrop is small and insignificant, and yet if it rains long enough it will flood.
Fourth, suicide affects everyone around you. In the show even the people who didn’t know Hannah Baker were distraught and upset over her death. Suicide doesn’t affect just that one person and their immediate family and friends, it affects the community as a whole.
“Thirteen Reasons Why” is an amazing show that raises awareness about suicide and shows how big of a problem it is. Everyone who watches the show will learn something about suicide and how they can prevent it. Words and actions can kill.
“I think I've made myself very clear. No one's coming forward to stop me. Some of you cared. None of you cared enough. And neither did I. And I'm sorry. So, it's the end of Tape 13. There's nothing more to say.”
Suicide is a real issue in today’s society. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are about 121 suicides per day making it the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. People committing suicide often reach out for help that unfortunately goes unnoticed. With more people aware of the signs and ways people reach out for help we can prevent suicides and save lives. The link below shows the signs of suicide and tells you how to help.