13 Reasons Why and the Suicide Surge

BY: CLAIRE KIM

13 Reasons Why has always been a controversial TV show over the years. While some have found it very commendable for bringing awareness to the topic of suicide, others have criticized the work as being an inaccurate representation of what suicide really is. In other words, the romanticized image of suicide being “courageous” has disturbed a portion of the audience when watched. For me at least, I follow the latter.

Suicide is a real mental health issue that doesn’t fall under the words “sensation” or “enlightenment” like most media present it to be. I don’t think it is right for a TV show to be showing such graphic content in a lighthearted way that is excused with notes of fiction, love, or high school drama. Teenagers and young adults fall for these media plays quite easily so putting suicide at such a risk is not smart nor safe for any viewers who may be influenced.

I have always wondered what the hype was regarding 13 Reasons Why. Was it the storyline? The characters? The cinematography? No, none of these were correct. Teenagers love watching the show because they claim it brings a sense of “reassurance” and “relatability” that can’t be found in any other shows. So what factor of the show can’t be seen anywhere else? Suicide. And what do teenagers feel comfortable too? Suicide.

No wonder teenage suicide rates have jumped in the past year.

Taking action against such a devastating trend, directors of the show 13 Reasons Why have decided to cut out the suicide scene from the show entirely. Hearing parents and critics grow worrisome from the show, the directors made a late but not too late move for the betterment of society.

Suicide should never be glamorized in such a way that it perpetuates more victims.

13 Reasons Why trivialized suicide, not going deep enough into the true essence of mental health. The media needs to stop bringing such a “glorified” spotlight to suicide or else who knows what the numbers will show next.

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