For this next episode, we are going to discuss the trending Netflix show, '13 Reasons Why'. I am not here to critque the show, but to continue the conversation the show has started. I am joined with Blake Barber, House Supervisior of the CSP (Community Services Program) Laguna Beach Youth Shelter and Juliet Ekinaka, a former youth counselor at the shelter to discuss signs of depression, suicde, risk factors in teens, triggering events and how to prepare parents, educators and friends to be a good lister for when they ask the powerful question, R U OK?
A recap of 13 Reasons Why: A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a 17-year- old student at liberty high school before her suicide details 13 reasons why she completed suicide. It is somewhat like a murder mystery, captivating the viewers attention through the 13th and final episode.
At its core, it exposes what today's teens experience; drug and alcohol use, gender confusion, self- harm, bullying, rape, depression and suicide. It was not easy for me to watch and left me disturbed for several days after watching the final episode. But I do feel 13 reasons why is very important and I am grateful to Netflix for shedding light on a very stigmatized subject.
As mentioned in the podcast, we talk about #13ReasonsWhyNot
I say these 13 Reasons Why Not to you because I have been on the other side of suicide. I was the one left behind, the one still living with this choice my husband decided.
1. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem
2. You have depression, which is an illness and treatable
3. Depression is a liar. You wouldn't give someone who lied to you the time of day, so why give a liar your life.
4. It's not your fault. What ever you are going through, it's not your fault.
5. Things can change. What you are feeling isn't permanent. The first step to any change is making the decision to ask for help.
6. You matter. To your family, to the people whose life you have touched.
7. You are loved. It may not feel like so, but when you have depression, it's hard to let any outside affection in, but it's there, a lot of it.
8. There is help. Suicide has affected so many lives, and because so, there are many amazing resources for all ages to get the care and hope they need to heal.
9. You are not alone. The way you feel is your own, but so many also feel the same pain. Knowing you're not alone can help ease the decision to get help.
10. You will feel whole and healthy again. I know this because I have seen it in action. When you choose the path to heal, a new world of possibilities open up for you.
11. Relief is around the corner. No one likes to feel alone. No one likes to feel nothing at all. With help, there is hope for such relief of numbness.
12. Time is on your side. What's great about the choice to heal, is that you can take your time. Heal on your own terms. You are in the ultimate control and that is motivating and powerful.
13.You are incredible. You may have laughed at this, but you are. Unique, real, alive and have the strength to take control and seek the help and hope you deserve.
If you or your teen needs more information, resources or immediate help, please know it’s available! The following toll-free hotlines are available to help 24/7:
Teenline (This is a crisis hotline for teens to talk to other teens): 800-TLC-TEEN
AFSP American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
Bullying Hotline: 800-273-8255
National Eating Disorder Association: 800-931-2237