- Kara Kohnen, LMFT
13 Reasons Why Talking Points
13 Reasons Why is a fictional TV series currently available on Netflix which is meant to be a fictional show and cautionary tale about a teen girl who commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes behind for her peers . For teenagers who are seeing this show, it is important to emphasize there are healthy ways to cope with suicidal thoughts and acting on them is not one of them. If a teen has watched this show, it's important they talk with someone and know there is always support and someone who will listen. Adversity including bullying, loss of friendship can be over come by seeking additional support. Suicide is not romantic or heroic and should be viewed as a tragedy. The show depicts treatment failure, however, treatment works. The guidance counselor in the show does not respond appropriately and is not typical of most counselors. Schools counselors are professionals and trained and should be trustworthy sources for teens in distress. There are other sources of support including crisis hotlines readily available to anyone who may need them 24 hours a day 7 days a week. If someone ever tells you they are suicidal, take them seriously and seek immediate help. Talking openly and honestly about emotional and suicide is okay and will help understand the problem. If you are concerned about someone, please ask them questions. If you die, you don't get to make a TV show or a movie or to people anymore and memorializing someone who died by suicide is not a common practice. Things such as decorating someone's locker who died by suicide and taking selfies is not appropriate and does not honor their life. In the show, the tapes left behind blame others for her suicide. Suicide is never the fault of survivors of suicide loss. There are resources to help and support group for survivors. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide: Text: START to 741741 or Call 1-800-273-8255 or 1-888-724-7240 for immediate support.