{The Nest Reviews} Why you should watch 13 Reasons Why

NOTE: I have exactly zero qualifications when it comes to having the right to comment on what you should be or not be watching. The following is simply my experience as a mother, wife and friend. If you are experiencing a difficult time in your life then I implore you to should seek help through your doctor or give Lifeline a call on 13 11 14.

Last night I finished watching the Netflix Original television series 13 Reasons Why and I say without hesitation that I recommend that you watch it too. The show is intense. It is heartbreaking and powerful. It is tragic and overflowing with grief. I know its not really a good way to sell it, but 13 Reasons Why is not a show filled with optimism or the hope of tomorrow but rather a sense of urgency to look at those around you. 13-reasons-why-2

ABOUT

13 Reasons Why is based around the suicide of 17 year old school student Hannah Baker. Before she takes her own life Hannah releases 13 tapes that describe in graphic detail the people she says contributes to her death.

The story is part mystery – part crime drama as it follows the lives of a cluster of students at Liberty High School. There are all the usual players, the jock, the cheerleaders, the nerd and the outcasts. The show follows each of their stories and the role they allegedly play in Hannah’s decision to commit suicide.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH

This is FAR from an easy watching show, it will make you uncomfortable and uneasy. 13 Reasons Why covers a range of issues from sexual assault to bullying. It continues all the way to parental expectation and unspoken desires. There is legal injustice and a clear display of a lack of help to someone who is in desperate need.

This show is completely frustrating and provides the viewer with a confetti mix of emotions. I cried, I laughed, I sobbed and I literally felt ill. This show is graphic in its truth and I have zero doubts that all teenage girls experience at least one of the circumstances that happen to Hannah.

This show will stay with me for always, I can just feel it in my soul. As a mother to three daughters this show depicts almost every one of my fears for them as they grow into women. I truly believe that watching this show may cause distress to some, especially those who are already experiencing mental health issues but on the same token it has the power to save someone by opening a line of communication.

What this show does display is a beautifully raw depiction of what is unfortunately a truth for many young girls in our community. It shows how quickly a person can feel overwhelmed and not as though they have many answers. hannah

This show presents an opportunity for incredibly important conversations to be started. It is perfectly clear that due to our increasing suicide rate that there is not nearly enough discussion surrounding mental health issues. This show provides me with conversation topics to speak with my children about, it provides topics that need to be addressed even if they are uncomfortable. Yes, the graphic nature of the show is strong, but so is the message of helplessness and ultimate accountability. If this show provides one person a reason to ask another person if they are okay then all of sudden it makes it worthwhile.

I say this with a clear and strong warning, this show is confrontational. It will have many triggers for those in the community who have experienced trauma. You should not watch this show alone because I truly believe it needs to be discussed with someone.

The main outcome of the show for me was seeing that no matter how desperately helpless life can seem, you are only seeing your own truth. Hannah truly believed she has no other option but little did she see how much others around her truly needed her. There are two sides to every story and it is important to reach out to hear the other side before only believing your own.

13 Reasons Why may not be for everyone but I think it shows that suicide is a desperately permanent solution to a temporary feeling in life. Suicide is preventable but only if the signs and screams for help are seen by someone else.

LIFELINE: 13 11 14

{The Nest Writes} Suicide. The most indiscriminate form of heartbreak.

There is an incredibly horrific pandemic that is taking hold of Australians. It affects the old, the young, the men, the women and the children.

It doesn’t discriminate. It affects the wealthy, the poor, the average. It takes the powerful, the weak and the popular.

It is rising. It is permanent and as a nation we need to stand side by side to find out how we can significantly lower the rates of suicide in Australia.suicide

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a 27 year old man. He ran his own successful business, had parents who adored him, a girlfriend who loved him and a best mate who found him hanging from a noose in his shed.

There was a little girl with dark hair and chocolate skin. She was 10 years old and after experiencing an overwhelming sense of hopelessness made the choice to end her life and sever any chance of future happiness.

A 32 year old mother of three takes her own life just four months after her littlest baby is born. Leaving a heartbroken husband and three young girls without a mother.

A brave, courageous 37 year old man recently returned home from active duty defending his country and due to the torment he continued to live with every day took his life with a single bullet.

The suicide rate in Australia is appalling and according to the Australia Bureau of Statistics there has been a significant rise in death by suicide in young women. A rise which means we are sitting terrifyingly at a a 13 year high.

Let me break this down for you, Australia’s current suicide rate is sitting at around 12 per 100,000 people.

Our men that surround us, you know the burly, strong, masculine men are crumbling around us. Men make up three-quarters of people who commit suicide and this is the scariest part, suicide remains the main cause of death for young people in Australia.

Let me repeat that loud and clear.

It isn’t car crashes or drugs. It’s not coward punches or risky behaviour. Nor is it anything else you see splashed across the nightly news. It is a conscious decision to end their own life. A decision to save themselves from the anguish of a self-formed reality of hopelessness that they live in. This is incredibly heartbreaking.

So what can we do? We need to identify why these people are feeling so hopeless. We need to not let anymore beautiful young people slip through the net.

Black Dog Institute director and chief scientist Helen Christensen said a new approach was needed to drive down suicide rates “if we want to be really serious about saving lives, we need to understand why people become suicidal and identify how we can best tackle these issues before they reach crisis point, if we look to the research evidence from here and overseas, there are clear strategies that have been proven to reduce suicide risk. Only some of these are currently in use in Australia, and implementation tends to be scattered and disproportionate to their impact.”

So what are these strategies?

We need to acknowledge, spread and share the word that suicide is everyone’s business. Every single one of us has an obligation to speak more openly about depression, hopelessness and sadness. We need to look around us and stare deeply into those around us to see even the most minute cries for help. So I want you to turn up, call and simply ask the question “Are you okay?”.

You need to listen to those around you. Like really, deeply listen. Actively.

Be proactive, don’t just say “call me if you need anything” that is way too vague. You call them. alone

We need to escalate the pressure placed on our government to increase early intervention through our medical teams. This includes increasing support for our troops who return home from combat.

We need more money to research the groups of the population who are more at risk. Why do people feel so helpless? It must be because there is not enough help available.

Just raise awareness. Ask the questions. Be there.

Even if today is a tough day, your past shows you have a 100% survival rate.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit its website.