"13 Reasons Why" - A Review

Trigger Warning: suicide, self-harm, sexual assault, rape, and violence.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the show that’s quickly been gaining popularity on Netflix, “Thirteen Reasons Why.” It depicts the story of 17-year old Hannah Baker and the thirteen reasons why she committed suicide. I binge watched all 13 hours of the series in 26 hours, so needless to say, I quite enjoyed it. That being said, it was incredibly difficult and painful to watch.

This show talks about mental health and suicide in the most genuine way I’ve seen, and doesn’t attempt to glorify or romanticize suicide in any way. I’d like to delve into details about how much I loved it, about how the characters are diverse, the cinematography was captivating and the soundtrack fits perfectly but the story it portrays is horrifying. It’s raw, it’s graphic, and it doesn’t shy away from the vulnerability of humanity. There isn’t always a happy ending. Sometimes we don’t get answers. This story isn’t tragically beautiful. It may only be fiction in this case, but suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadians aged 10-24 (CMHA, 2016).

It’s apparent that this show is currently trending on Netflix and many seem to have enjoyed it, but regardless of your feelings towards it, its purpose is to start a conversation and to keep one going. We do it no justice to stay silent about the issues it addresses. Over 800,000 people die by suicide every year across the globe (WHO, 2014). Talking saves lives, so please do so if you’re able.

You don’t need to be depressed or have any kind of diagnosable mental illness to be suicidal. You can be passively and/or actively suicidal. Regardless, any form of suicidal ideation should be taken seriously. Shut down the stigma. Social support is so important, so if you’re considering suicide or know someone who may be, please reach out. See the list of resources below:

1, 2, 3

Note: The last few episodes are especially hard to watch, and can be extremely triggering. Your own health is more important, so don’t force yourself to watch any or all of it.


Sources: Cover Photo, 1, 2, 3, 4