Youth Resilience: Can a Conversation About 13 Reasons Why Help Promote Emotional Wellness?

The Mental Health Association of Westchester embraces open conversation about the serious problems of bullying, sexual assault and risk of suicide. Like other advocates and mental health experts, we are concerned about the messages that youth may take away from the Netflix show, 13 Reasons Why. The attention generated by the show offers an important opportunity to talk frankly about difficult challenges faced by children, adolescents and young adults. It is an opportunity that should not be missed.

To help you start and have these conversations, MHA offers a selection of useful resources. We also offer educational opportunities to learn about the risk of suicide, how to safely have a conversation with someone who may be at risk, and how to connect them to local and helpful assistance on a timely basis.  

Learn more about how to help someone who is at risk of suicide, including suggestions for talking with someone who is thinking of suicide, recognizing ‘red flags’ and accessing resources here.

Our training opportunities on suicide awareness, prevention and intervention include Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and safeTALK. Both are intended for all members of the community. To learn more about these trainings and to sign up for emails regarding upcoming dates, click here.

If you know a young adult watching 13 Reasons Why, we suggest that you join them in their viewing and use this as an opportunity to talk about the issues, emphasizing safe, health-promoting ways to handle serious life challenges, and identifying specific individuals in their lives who can help.  

We recognize that many of us have personally been impacted by the loss of a loved one to suicide.  A focus on suicide may be particularly difficult – specific resources are available for ‘survivors’ including those from The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“Talking points” for conversations about 13 Reasons Why, are available from the JED Foundation here and here.

Get Help Now:

•    If someone is in imminent danger of hurting themselves or someone else, please call 911.
•    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) offers online resources and crisis services via phone and chat.
•    Text 741741 to chat with a live, trained Crisis Counselor from the Crisis Text Line.