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Why the Netflix Series '13 Reasons Why' Is an Important Watch

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

The new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” is based on the book by Jay Asher, and follows high school student Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box under his porch. In the box? Thirteen tapes and a map left behind by his classmate, best friend and secret crush, Hannah, who died by suicide two weeks earlier. Each tape is dedicated to one person who somehow led the teenager to kill herself.   


Directed by Oscar winner Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”) written by Tony and Pulitzer winner Brian Yorkey (“Next to Normal”), the series was also executive produced by Selena Gomez, known for having struggled with her mental health and now for being an advocate and spokesperson on this topic.

To me, there are 13 reasons why this new show is an important watch.   

1. It has a strong message against cyberbullying, as it shows the repercussions of social media and the misuse of technology.   

2. It highlights feelings of hopelessness and describes how depression engulfs someone in an endless and inescapable whirlwind of real life nightmares.   

3. It underlines what it’s like to have people judge others and how it can be extremely harmful – no matter the age or maturity.

4. It shows the accumulation of the small things that can often lead to very deep and overwhelming feelings of despair. It shows every single thing and person matters.

5. It shows a cry for help isn’t always obvious.   

6. It’s very raw and doesn’t shy away from the very uncomfortable, making it all very real and important.   

7. It’s honest.   

8. It tackles extremely relevant societal issues like sexism and slut shaming, and proves once more how women don’t have it easy.

9. It’s not just a show for and about teenagers. It is for and about everyone.   

10. It reminds its audience suicide should never be an option, but unfortunately still is a reality.

11. It’s real in showing how therapists sometimes fail to recognize someone in an immediate crisis.   

12. It praises the importance of having an excellent support system to be able to heal and sometimes, all we need is someone to show they care enough. “Hannah. I’m not going. Not now. Not ever,” Clay says while imagining the alternative path he could have taken.

13. The soundtrack is amazing.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Photo via “13 Reasons Why” Facebook page

Originally published: April 7, 2017
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