So I have just finished watching the 13 episodes of the series 13 Reasons Why examining Teen suicide and highlighting suicide awareness on Netflix, based on the best selling book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
From the Back Cover
You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret . . .
is to press play
Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and first love – who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
Hannah’s voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
All through the night, Clay keeps listening- and what he discovers changes his life . . .
This sensational bestseller has been made into the 13-part Netflix series, executive produced by Selena Gomez. A controversial and brave production of a fictional drama, it has been very difficult viewing but a compelling story which highlights the struggle teenagers face during their journey into adulthood. It also highlights how difficult it can be to see the signs until its too late in some cases and that in many there are no signs at all. More awareness is needed, suicide and mental health issues are still seen as taboo subjects in our society and while we continue to not talk about them openly and honesty the statistics will continue to rise.
Did you know that 6,188 suicides were registered in the UK and 451 in the Republic of Ireland according to the Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2017? And that rates have increased in the UK (by 3.8%), England (by 2%), Wales (61.8%) and Northern Ireland (18.5%) since 2014? Shocking isn’t it?
Suicide awareness is a subject close to my heart, being a therapist and having lost a relative through suicide, my cousin’s husband many, many years ago and more recently, just last year one of our Meditation Group members. For the ones that make that decision it must seem like it is their only option, with no way forward. For those left behind there are unanswered questions, feelings of regret, guilt, grief and much, much more. The book and its subsequent series are unique in that everyone involved finds out what exactly led Hannah to the decision she made to take her own life.
Help is available….
As I said it isn’t always possible to identify people who may be going through emotional distress and in others it is obvious. The Samaritans have a great resource if you are worried about someone.
If you are reading this and are struggling, whatever it is you are going through, call the Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123. They are there round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their number is FREE to call and you don’t have to be suicidal to call them.
PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide states that “Suicide is the biggest killer of young people – male and female – under 35 in the UK. In 2015, 1,659 young people took their own lives. That equates to over four per day. Every year many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide, harm themselves or suffer alone, afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling.”
If you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide call 0800 068 41 41.
Locally in Tameside there are some amazing organisations raising suicide awareness and helping those struggling or worried about a friend or loved one:
- The Sanctuary – provide 24-hour support to adults who are experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts or are in crisis. They offer a space to talk and assistance with coping after the initial crisis. This service is available to residents (ages 18+) living in Manchester, Trafford, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Glossop, Bolton, Wigan and Leigh. If you are in crisis, speak to someone now on 0300 003 7029
- The Anthony Seddon Fund – are a small mental health charity, passionate about helping local people who are living with mental illness and its effects. They aim to advance awareness and educate the general public, in particular children and young people. Call the centre on 0161 637 9256
- Mind – can help you make choices about treatment, understand your rights or reach out to sources of support. Call 0300 123 3393 or text: 86463
Please don’t become another statistic, there is help available and there is a wonderful life ahead of you if you just ask for help, talk and give life a chance