I'm sure you've heard not only about the show, "13 Reasons Why", but also all of the controversy around it. There are rumors going around that season 2 should be coming out in a few weeks, so I decided to share the problems that I, and a lot of people in the mental health community, have with it.
1. It's not safe for those who have directly experienced suicidal ideations or attempts, whether it was themselves or a loved one
There should be trigger warnings throughout this show that warn people of what they're about to get themselves into. I never thought that I would see a theatrical suicide in enough detail that it could make me cringe. Not only should there be trigger warnings for self-harm/suicide, but also rape and even stalking. The show portrays multiple rapes, other forms of sexual assault, and a man watching while girls change after following them for weeks.
2. It romanticizes death and suicide
Suicide is not beautiful, glamorous, nor is it a game. Suicide should not be made into a treasure map, especially for grieving peers. There is no "Hollywood plotline" for someone that is hurting so badly that they think death is the only answer.
3. They make it seem that death was used as revenge (or as a tool to make others feel bad)
Suicide should never be a means of teaching others a lesson. Those tapes were intentionally left in order to make her peers turn against each other and to turn their lives into hell.
4. Suicide is not just from bullying
There are so many factors that go into suicidal ideations. A lot of the time, it's from a mental illness that goes untreated. Just because you can't see an illness doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Depression and other mental illnesses come from a chemical imbalance in the brain and are nothing to be ashamed of. This can be treated in multiple ways, like medication and therapy.
5. Though the show is supposed to be making things easier to talk about, it still portrays mental health as something not to be discussed
Hannah never said anything to anyone throughout the show, but the minute she gathered the courage to tell the school counselor, she got shut down. Now, in real life, counselors are mandated reporters. If they think there's even a slight chance that anyone in the school could harm themselves or others, it's acknowledged. In the show, the counselor hears her say she wants everything to stop and lets her walk out of his office. Not once does the show talk about the stigma, ways to break it down, or that it's OK to not be OK.
These are just a few of my issues. If you choose to watch the second season, be prepared. Please take caution knowing that there are going to be very graphic, sensitive scenes without warning. If needed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It's available 24/7 and is completely free at 1-800-273-8255.