Takeaways from the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why

WARNING: *THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS*

Unless you’re living under a rock, you have probably seen something about the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why somewhere on social media in the past two weeks. The show made me feel rage, sadness, and a shred of happiness all within 13 episodes. While the show is about the all reasons leading up to someone’s suicide, there are so many underlying lessons to be learned from the show:1. Cherish the ones you care for and love

Tell people how you feel about them. If you are proud, praise them! If you are happy that they are a part of your life, remind them. A simple sentiment can brighten someone’s day and in Hannah Baker’s case, could have saved a life. If Clay had just told Hannah how he felt about her, or even that he was thankful to have her as a friend, he might have altered what had happened. You never know what is going on in a person’s life or what struggles they might be going through, so small reminders of praise and happiness can sometimes have a dramatic impact on a person.

2. Mental health is important and should be taken just as seriously as physical or emotional health

People are becoming more open about their mental health in recent years, but it still isn’t enough. There is such a negative stigma against depression, anxiety, and all other mental disorders. In 13 Reasons Why, Hannah felt as though she had no one to talk to, and when she eventually went to talk to someone, she was not treated the way she should have been. People should feel as though they can trust their friends or others to help them with what they are going through, rather than just judge them for the way that they are. The world needs to understand that mental health is important, and hopefully this show will lead people to feel differently about people with various mental illnesses.

3. Think about what you say and do to people

The golden rule that people are taught from their beginning years in elementary school is: treat others the way you want to be treated. Throughout this show, there are so many instances in which people forget that very basic way of thinking. Alex, at one point, is upset that the school has put up posters saying that suicide isn’t the only option, and has an outburst saying schools should treat students to be good people. The fact of the matter is, most schools do and it is called the golden rule. If the people in the show thought about what they said and did toward Hannah, she would not have killed herself because people would not have continued to treat her poorly.

I’m not saying that by doing these three things, the characters could have changed the outcome of a fictional novel/television series, but the directors and author of the book want people to learn from this and strive to help all who may be depressed or suicidal. Before you judge someone based on their appearance, take a moment and realize they could be going through anything.