13 Reasons Why: A Concerned Reality
By Debbie Adams
The rise of suicide in younger age groups is a grim and indisputable fact. Children all across the country have been taking their own life as a result of their harrowing situations. Yet what type of end-mental state must a child have to do something so extreme?
Suicide has always been a serious epidemic, but with its growing publicity, many have been able to realize just how grave the issue is in our younger crowd. Take, for example, The American Drama Series 13 Reasons Why. 13 Reasons Why, a novel adaptation that exposes the rampancy of suicide by revealing the reasons for why a teenage girl decided to take her life, is a prime example of one of the reasons why this act has sparked such growing public interest.
Look into the life of Hannah, a young woman who, like every other teenage girl, wanted to make the best of her high school experience. Her life, however, was characterized by a series of misfortunate events that eventually led to the taking of her own life. The reason for this show’s imminent popularity? Its sickening normalcy. The horrid circumstances she repeatedly found herself in (bad friendships, child pornography, peer pressure, public humiliation, etc.) are often faced by many children and adolescents across the nation. Time after time, members of our younger generation are faced with similar circumstances and yet many often are not given the help or support they need.
Suicide is not an act that is done without cause. There are always signs, warnings, cries for help. Yet, why are these signs so hard to see? The answer: blatant ignorance. Adults, parents and teachers alike, are simply unaware of the danger signs or simply choose not to address them. Whether or not we choose to admit, suicide is a shunned act in society. No one wants to talk about it. No one wants to bring to light its frequency for fear of causing public disarray or controversy. Is shielding this act from the eyes of our children, however, helping or making the situation worse?
Our generation is suffering and dying at the hands of bullies, depression, and insensitivity. Children and adolescents are not being provided the love and support they need to thrive in an increasingly morbid society. We cannot keep ignoring these signs any further. 13 Reasons Why succeeded in bringing to light this epidemic, but what can we do as nation to counteract its growth? Listen, learn, and understand. Stop characterizing problems faced by our youth as juvenile or shallow. Attend suicide intervention conferences. Get involved with school boards to help prevent the growth of suicide among the youth.
Understand that when you see suicides on TV or hear about it in your local areas, that person who took their life did it because they lost hope. Hope in humanity. Hope in themself. Help others by helping yourself. Learn about the epidemic today.