13 Reasons Why || mental health 

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Omg so many emotions! And yes I know I’m totally late to the game here but there’s a reason for that… I was boycotting. I had read some articles saying that the programme was filmed in bad taste, that the producers had sought advice from suicide charities and then gone against that advice, that it was potentially damaging to someone’s life if they were feeling vulnerable and none of this sat right with me. But everyone and their family dog had watched it and was discussing it and how could I truly form an opinion on something I hadn’t seen? So out of pure curiosity for “research purposes” I delved in head first.

Yep, I binged watched the series in about 3 days (not consecutively, although close). When I first started watching the programme I wasn’t keen but as it went on I was more and more gripped. So let’s get on with what your all here for, the opinion.

Firstly I wanted to point out that the programme is actually rated 18 and yes it is readily accessible on Netflix but technically it shouldn’t be watched by anyone younger than that. Despite this it does feel like it’s aimed at a younger audience, maybe it’s just because it’s set in high school and consists of mainly teenagers but I couldn’t help but feel that was the real target audience.

13 reasons why portrayed some harrowing but actually really important messages! I just did a post on acne anxiety and tried to show that the littlest comments really can effect someone which is a theme that runs through the programme. Bullying is no game, whether your intending to bully or not, whether you think it will be a big deal or not, you will never truly know how your words and actions will effect someone else. Hannah shows that it doesn’t have to be one big event that ruins your life, it can be a build up of “the little things” and I put this in quote marks because what seems little to you may be huge to someone else. This opened my eyes even further to how I interact with other people, be that friends and family, strangers or even people I don’t particularly get on with. I would never want anything I’ve said or done to put someone in such a bad space and this is why we really need to be kind to one and other.

On the flip side I totally get what the other reviews were saying in that mental health isn’t really addressed but I can also kind of see why. The scenes are from the view of the teens involved and it’s highly likely that this is not something they would address. The final episode where Hannah seek help actually puts forward a big message that mental health is not always taken seriously.

Even though you are shouting at you’re screen for someone to notice Hannah’s pain and suffering, in day to day life, if you were there and only seeing certain parts of the story, would you notice? Like Hannah says, the scary thing is these feelings can look like nothing to the outside! There is no heightened emotions spilling out, she felt numb. So how is it possible to notice this? I’ve had previous conversations with people who lost friends to suicide and none of them had any idea there was something wrong.

I also think that while the programme itself didn’t really bring up mental health it definitely started a conversation about it and that’s amazing! It has bought a lot of taboo subjects into the mainstream in an easily accessible powerful way and the fact that people have opinions on it is important to how we move forward as a society. We need debate to make change!

Again while this isn’t aimed at kids I hope that it will be watched by their parents. We need to instil kindness and good values into the next generation so that this kind of thing stops. School can be awful, kids can be mean, and at a stage in your life where everything feels like the end of the world and your hormones and emotions are all over the place this is so dangerous! We need to be more aware of how these kids are feeling, there needs to be support and trust.

The scene where Hannah is trying to get help is so frustrating but I bet this happens more than we would care to think about. It is so easy to dismiss a teenagers feelings as overly dramatic because in reality what teenager doesn’t over think and over exaggerate everything (I still do this now!) It’s a difficult position to be in when having to make that decision on whether they truly need help or just having a bad day. Chances are, the ones who truly need help wont be saying anything, so what do we do? I don’t know how to change things but I know things need to change. We need to put an emphasis on mental health not just at school but throughout life. Life can be stressful at any stage and it can be so hard on your body in a range of forms arising from a range of triggers. Stress of being bullied, from your studies, from your family life, from your job. I honestly feel like it isn’t taken that seriously but as someone who suffers badly when stressed let me tell you, it is serious!

Personally I think counselling is an amazing tool, just to have someone listen, take you seriously, not judge and make you feel like you’re less alone is so powerful. I would like to see onsite counsellors in schools and work places so this is readily available and encouraged. Counselling should not be taboo and I think that anyone can benefit from just hashing their thoughts out with a totally subjective person.  To get access to this kind of help at the moment a doctor has to deem you “suitable” and you will be put on a long waiting list. Either that or you will have to fork out for it privately. Why not just make it a part of life?

I think the only way to move forward is to bring “taboo” subjects even further into mainstream. We all know these things go on so there is no excuse to brush them under the carpet anymore. In 2017 people should not be feeling ashamed or embarrassed for who they are, how they feel or what has happened to them. We need less victim blaming and dancing around the subject and more action. There needs to be better steps in place.

There will be so many opinions around the programme and the subjects it touches on and this post is just one of those. Watching this programme made me feel so many emotions but above all it made me want to be a better person and to help make a change.

I’d love to hear your opinions on 13 Reasons Why!

Peace and Love xoxo

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