On Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”: Like it or not, we need to talk about suicide

Posted on May 10th, 2017

As you read this, is there something inside of you that feels icky and uncomfortable? Are your inclined to want to make it all just go away? Acknowledge that feeling. Don’t squash it away with ignorance. There are things you can do about it. Keep reading.

I believe we finally have an opportunity to accept the dialogue on suicide as a matter of community health. It can’t wait for another day. Not only do we need to talk about suicide today, we can prevent suicide today.

For now, here are four things that you can consider to help you talk with young people about 13 Reasons Why:

1) It’s out and we need to talk about it.
An article written by Andre Picard of the Globe and Mail. “Those calling for teens to be prohibited or otherwise dissuaded from watching the show have missed the boat. They’ve already seen it and, if not, the outpouring of adult angst will only make them more likely to do so”

2) A Lesson Plan with resources, created by the Centre for Suicide Prevention (Calgary). There is a lot to learn here that goes well beyond 13RW.
‘Thirteen Reasons Why Lesson Plan’;  https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/thirteen-reasons-why-lesson-plan/

3) A statement by Canadian Mental Health Association. The Collateral Damage Project joins with CMHA in raising concerns about ’13 Reasons Why’.http://www.cmha.ca/news/cmha-national-statement-responding-netflix-series-13-reasons/#.WQcaLVPyvUI

4) safeTALK. Please take safeTALK.  http://leftbehindbysuicide.org/safetalk-training/
One of our core mandates at the Collateral Damage Project is to advocate for everyone to take safeTALK training. We believe all teachers, parents, first responders….everyone should be trained in safeTALK as a starting point to understand how to safely talk about suicide. If you are interested in learning more about having all of your teachers trained in safeTALK please contact me.

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