In Response to 13 Reasons Why

By Jamie TworkowskiApril 25, 2017

Right now, thousands of people are talking about the show 13 Reasons Why. We’ve heard stories of people asking for help for the first time, and stories of people who had to stop watching because the show was too triggering for them. We’ve heard from parents asking if we think the show is appropriate for their son or daughter. We’ve heard from people who loved the show, and we’ve heard from people who hated it.

13 Reasons Why is causing a significant number of individuals to think and talk about mental health, and many of them are thinking and talking about it for the first time. That’s a good thing. The show is also being met with criticism because of the way it portrays sexual assault and suicide. The show is triggering and painful for a lot of people. That’s a bad thing.

If you struggle or have struggled with self-injury or thoughts of suicide, we would encourage you NOT to watch 13 Reasons Why. We’ve heard from many people who have chosen to avoid the show, and we applaud these folks who are choosing to prioritize their own recovery. We know this is a unique moment in pop culture, with so many people talking about 13 Reasons Why. You are certainly more important than pop culture, and we will always encourage you to put your recovery first.

We’ve heard from people who started watching but then at some point they had to stop because it was too painful. Others watched every episode but it left them with mixed feelings. If your heart is heavy after watching 13 Reasons Why, we’re sorry for the pain you experienced. Our hope would be that you have safe people who you can process your feelings with. Maybe that means friends as a place to start. Maybe it means a parent or another adult you can be open and honest with. If you’re struggling to the point that you need more support than what a friend or family member can provide, please know that it’s okay to reach out to a mental health professional.

Speaking of mental health professionals, we know that the show doesn’t paint the best picture of counseling. The school counselor, who is not a licensed mental health counselor, certainly fumbles his meeting with Hannah in the final episode. Well, at TWLOHA, we are huge fans of counseling. Most of our team, we’ve either been to counseling or we continue to go to counseling. We know some great ones, men and women who have devoted a big part of their lives to helping people navigate the hardest parts of their stories. We believe that for folks who are struggling, connecting with a licensed mental health counselor can be the decision that changes their life. We meet people who say they’re still alive because they decided to start seeing a counselor.

If you’re a parent who is concerned about how to talk to your son or daughter, our advice would be to talk to them. If you don’t know what to say, maybe you start there. It’s important that your child knows you love them, that they know they’re not alone, and that they feel invited to speak openly and honestly about their feelings and their pain. As for you, the parent, it’s okay for you to ask questions. It’s okay to admit what you don’t know. It’s also important to create an environment where family members feel safe, and where asking for help is something that is encouraged at any age.

While we wish that the creators of 13 Reasons Why would have been more careful in how they chose to tell the story, we are thankful for the good that is coming as a result of this story being told. We’re glad people are talking about mental health and suicide. If you’ve decided the show is not for you because you don’t want to risk being triggered, we support you as you pursue your recovery. If you watched and you felt triggered, we support you as you process those feelings. If you watched it and you feel the show helped you in some way, we support you. If you’re a parent and you’re doing your best to love your son or daughter, we support you. We’re all in this together.

As i watched the final episode, in which Hannah makes the heartbreaking decision to end her life, i wished she could have known how special she was. Known that she was brilliant and beautiful and loved and deserving of love — that her whole life was ahead of her, a life very much worth living. i wished Hannah had a support system, friends she could lean on and cry with, and professional help to guide her to healing.

As folks around the world continue to debate and discuss this fictional story, we hope you will remember that your true story is truly important. The things we hoped for Hannah, we hope them now for you — that your story would be rich with characters who know and love you, who fight for you instead of fighting you, people who remind you that you’re priceless.

Life is worth living. The best is yet to come. Let’s keep going.

For local resources available in your area, please visit our FIND HELP page here.

For immediate assistance, you can text TWLOHA to 741741 via Crisis Text Line. You will be connected to a trained counselor who can help you.

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Comments (134)

  1. Christy

    I adore TWLOHA and attended the last supporters conference. I feel a need to advocate for my chosen profession of the school counselor. Just like licensed mental health counselors, every school counselor is different, but most of us have a specialized degree in school counseling which has an emphasis on social and emotional support and counseling theory and technique. I’m only four classes away from being able to be a licensed mental health counselor. I know one goal of this article is to get people to reach out. I’d hate for people to read the line about how school counselors are not licensed mental health counselors and discount the support they are able to give. In the past two weeks I have worked with approximately 10 students who have either had suicidal thoughts or self injury behaviors and I’m thankful that they found me a valuable resource to go to in that time because I am trained to help them and connect them with additional services to meet their needs beyond the school day and more long term. I know you meant no harm, but I also feel that any opportunity I can get to advocate for school counselors roles and our training, the better.

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  2. Taylor

    I understand both sides. While the show was butally honest and could be hurtful to some, it has opened a door for people to talk about mental illness which is often a taboo subject. As someone who struggled/struggles, I’m grateful they were so honest. It’s forced me to be honest with myself. Maybe I’m not always ok. Maybe I still fight suicidal thoughts everyday. Maybe I should stop ignoring them, because I don’t want to be another Hannah. I want to tell people to be careful. Listen to your gut. It’s okay to take care of yourself first. If you feel you can watch it though, it’s a story that demands to be heard. It’s good.

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  3. Blake

    I spent three days at work watching this show, I work 4 24 hour days. The environment helped keep my mind busy while watching, but as I watched the last few episode, especially watching Hannah take her life, I was left with so many emotions and it triggered my past 13 years of ups and down, my own experiences that mirror a few of hers… it is a hard thing to swallow as I will always suffer suicidal thoughts and the urge to pick up old habits and start new ones.

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  4. Lisa Eddy

    Thank you for your review. I have chosen not to watch due to the triggers and history that is causes to flash before my eyes. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and I appreciate your comments about getting someone to talk with.

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  5. A

    Unfortunately, the school counselor in the movie is well portrayed. High school counselors are no longer school counselors, they are career and college counselors. I am currently in a Master’s of school counselor program, and while we are trained, we lack 10 hours from CMHC btw, the school systems push more for academic counselling in the high schools. Will the school system hire a CMH person? No, because the funds are not there.
    Now the school counselor should have done more, but so should have several other people in the show and that is the point of the show. We need to show more kindness to people, and stop being so self absorbed.

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  6. Lauren

    I read the book in middle school and was excited to see it was being made into a show! I got about two episodes in before it became too triggering…esp self harming and suicide

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  7. Kristin

    Thank you, Jamie. I decided to avoid this show altogether, based on information from folks who, like you, suggested that it might be triggering and deeply upsetting for someone who has lived experience. My best friend chose to watch it and was deeply disturbed by the series, particularly the final episode. Despite my having not seen it, we were able to process it together – with the knowledge that as she continues to pursue her doctorate in psychology and I continue in my work as a licensed social worker and crisis counselor, are sustained by our support of each other, and equipped to use our professional and personal backgrounds to walk with those impacted by this pop culture piece. I so very much appreciate TWLOHA’s viewpoint and sage advice, its embracing of those who both loved and hated this show, and all who are standing with those impacted by it.

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  8. Kay

    I don’t see anything wrong in how they told the story. Storytelling is different in every scenario and we have to appreciate that. The show is doing a great job of bringing a taboo subject out of the shadows.

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  9. Lanie

    I definitely agree with this. I struggle with self-harm and depression, and the show was very triggering for me, in fact it sent me into a really bad downward spiral that I’m slowly getting out of. I have very mixed feelings about the show, but overall, I do not feel that it accurately portrays suicidal people and the topics weren’t discussed in an appropriate manner. Thank you for writing this article, so that others don’t have to go through what I went through watching it.

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    1. Casey

      It was the same way for me. I wish someone had warned me before I watched it. Just remember you (nor I) are alone

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    2. Dylan

      I have a lot of the same feelings and thoughts going on right now. It didn’t trigger me watching the show although it was definitely hard to watch at times. My triggers developed over time (also because my doctor put me on medicine that could cause suicidal thoughts). I can’t get the thoughts and images out of my head of what Hannah had done. I have always struggled with suicidal thoughts and depression and always will.

      I’ve scheduled an appointment with my therapist and psychiatrist to help me get through this. I’m sorry that this affect you in ways that it has.

      Sending lots of love your way!

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  10. Jennifer

    I will not watch the show—and avoid even conversations about it—because the book was incredibly triggering for me when I read it as a high schooler struggling with mental health, self-injury and suicidal thoughts. I’m at a place in my life where I’ve dealt with that and do not want to put myself into a situation where I feel uncomfortable or even backslide into those thoughts and feelings. Thank you, Jamie, for writing this and for actively advocating for all of us who choose to watch or not for our own health.

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  11. Elliot

    My daughter was made to read this novel in Grade 9 English, mere weeks after we discovered that she was feeling suicidal. Her teacher didn’t know, of course, because she was so good at hiding it. Yet, when confronted with my questions about how he planned to deal with the fallout among the kids in his class, he said he “hadn’t thought about it,” didn’t even consider that it might have been an issue. !!!! AND, his wife was the school Guidance Counsellor. !

    My daughter has struggled with self-harm and suicidal feelings for several years now. I couldn’t stop her from watching the show. Yet when she did, she cut worse than she has in months.

    The show doesn’t give resources, it doesn’t suggest ways that people can get help, and as far as I’m concerned, it makes it seem as though suicide is an acceptable and even satisfying way to exact revenge on those who hurt you. It’s not “art being real.” It turns pain into entertainment and makes it seem as though suicide is a perfectly good way to sell advertising spots.

    Thank you for being a voice, and thank you for all of the work you do. When I ran the 5K a couple of weeks ago, I ran to the soundtrack of my daughter’s favourite band, with every step thankful she’s still here to enjoy them, in part because of the work you do.

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    1. Alicia

      If only all parents could be as supportive as you so clearly are. What you said about running to her favourite band, such a little act that makes a big impact. Thank you for sharing and I hope your daughter continues to thrive and grow. ❤️

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    2. Destiny

      As a survivor of suicide loss. Thank you so much for your perspective. I know each story is different but my mother committed suicide and outright blamed me for it through texts sent right before. I do not feel this show accurately portrayed the guilt survivors of suicide loss feel. It also hurts me that a lot of people feel the blame was justified, it makes me second guess the guilt I felt and how hard I have tried to overcome it. I think this world needs an honest, real talk about people lost through suicide and the people left behind, I just don’t feel this was it. Wishing you and your daughter well.

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      1. Lisa

        I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. Her death was 110% not your fault in anyway! She had problems that you were not trained to fix. May you walk in peace, know you are dearly loved. Hugs from a stranger who cares.

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    3. Tina

      [Contains spoilers] I understand your thoughts and I felt the same way. I like that the kids grew emotionally, but I was disgusted by the concept of “whose fault Hannah’s death was.” I should have known better even the title screams blame. The most horrifying part to me was Alex [dying by suicide] also. That result was so detrimental to any positive message the show was trying to portray.

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    4. Divina

      What’s your daughter’s favorite band? glad she has you.

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  12. Jody Pongratz

    Thank you for this thoughtful response.

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  13. Sarah

    I adore you guys and the work you do, you’ve been a light through the dark for me. I can not thank you enough for the trigger warning. I had been on the fence about watching, this post was a huge help. Thanks for everything you do.

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    1. Manderz

      I totally agree!

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  14. Kristin

    Thank you, Jamie. I decided to avoid this show altogether, based on information from folks who, like you do, suggested that it might be triggering and deeply upsetting for someone who has lived experience. My best friend chose to watch it and was profoundly disturbed by the series, particularly the final episode. Despite my having not seen it, we were able to process it together. As she continues to pursue her doctorate in psychology, and I continue in my work as a licensed social worker and crisis counselor, we are sustained by our support for each other and equipped to use our professional and personal backgrounds to walk with those impacted by this show. I so very much appreciate your viewpoint and eloquent thoughts, as well as TWLOHA’s embracing of those who loved or hated this show – and all who are standing with those impacted by it.

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  15. Ann Rene

    I have to say that I am disappointed to see you weighing in on whether people should watch or not watch the show (or read the book, which I hope you have done). Though I definitely think it is ok to warn people that this may be triggering – to SOME – I will say that suggesting that people NOT watch the show is the right one, and only encourages this topic to be something we don’t talk about and avoid. As a person who’s family is riddled with suicide (both my sister and two cousins have committed suicide in the last 4 years), I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to see this kind of censorship encouragement happening here. Based on this, I am not sure I can continue to support your organization. This saddens me beyond anything.

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    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Anne. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions. Our goal with this response was to provide our audience with recommendations and to highlight the many varying ways that people are feeling and reacting to this particular show. We are not, by any means, encouraging censorship, but rather hoping to alert people of the potential triggers included in the show and to direct them to resources if they have felt triggered. We are sorry that you feel this way, but we respect your opinion of both the show and this blog. Sending hope.

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    2. Rachel


      This is your perspective of what was written. We all have different perspectives. I share the same history as you do but more recent yet I still viewed what was written as highly objective. We all see things through different lenses which I feel was partially the point here. Whether anyone “chooses” to watch it or not, the subject is now on the front lines of conversation. I kind of feel like your comment capitalizing “SOME” is rather assuming and may discount those that DO feel triggered. Let’s just try to empathize with all feelings regarding this book/series even if they are not in line with your own. Be blessed! Sorry for your losses!

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  16. Ken Rupple

    I read the book and found it rather stupid. Maybe because I am an adult. I cannot imagine someone who is contemplating suicide to take the time to record 13 cassette tapes. I do agree that this show is very triggering. I do hope that those who do watch can use it as a source of help and reach out to professionals.

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  17. Neal

    Beautifully written and perfectly received. Thank you!

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  18. Alicia

    I loved the series, I thought it was good to have those things in the open, but the graphic nature of the final episode was so unexpected it took my breath away. I felt sick and afraid and unsafe, there needs to be more warning out there for triggers because it was so shockingly portrayed. I urge anyone who feels at risk, not to watch. It’s a few minutes out of the whole series but, it shocked me for days. Love to all ❤️

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  19. Risa

    Thank you TWLOHA, for the best article I have read on 13 Reasons Why. I appreciate the conversations that are coming to light around mental illness and suicide.This is a HUGE step in the right direction towards no longer keeping these things quiet. Mental illness should not have to be taboo. And no one is alone.

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  20. Ali Feudo

    Thank you so much for addressing this. I’ve been having a hard time talking about the show because my emotions are so mixed. When I was younger, I engaged in self-harm and I tried to kill myself. I’ve been sexually assaulted. I’ve been abused/bullied. But now, I’m in the process of getting my MSW. I’ve always wanted to to be the one on the other side of a clinical relationship, helping people get through their own horrors. So I come at everything from both angles now: a survivor (who still very much struggles with several mental illnesses), and a counselor/mental health expert. And I loved and hated the show from both perspectives for different reasons. Thank you for validating all of those reasons and emotions. Thank you for always being there for all of us.


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  21. Itzel

    I am a very emotional person, I attempted suicide once, my mind is always thinking that suicide is the best option, but I always try to keep those feelings aside. While I was watching 13 reasons why and Hannah take her life, I was left with so mixed emotions. I cry because I never considered myself a bully, but I feel guilty for all the damage maybe I have made and because maybe I am a bully, maybe I have made actions that hurt others, and I didn’t realize it until now. I feel like we victimized ourselves thinking, that we are Hannah, when in fact we are Jason, Jessica, Zach, etc. The show make a huge impact in my life. We always think in ourselves, and is good, but we never think in others.

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    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Itzel, thank you for taking the time to comment. We hope that you know you are not alone in this fight. The thoughts you are having do not have to control you. There is help out there and we hope that you will seek it out. You are deserving of hope. Please visit our resources page here: And if you want to share more of your story with us, please email us at [email protected]. Also, as mentioned at the end of blog, you can always text TWLOHA to 741741 via Crisis Text Line to be connected with a trained counselor.

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  22. Yeah

    So let me get this straight. The point of your organization is to get people talking about mental health and trying to erase the stigma attached to it, yet when there’s a show that does exactly that, suddenly there’s a problem? Different things trigger different people in different ways. I didn’t see a long blog written about The Hunting Ground, or Lady Gaga’s very graphic music video that goes with it (to be clear, I love the hunting ground and I am grateful every day that it was made); I didn’t see a long blog post about the TWLOHA movie, which I couldn’t even make it through the whole way because I thought that was a lot more upsetting than 13 reasons, just because I related to it more.

    There are thousands of people that this show has helped, my niece being one of them. Jamie, you are very hard to have a conversation with. As soon as you decide you’re right, that’s it. There’s no other side to things. This is one of the reasons I don’t follow twloha or you on any social media, because at times when people were giving their honest opinions, the aggressiveness in which you completely disregarded their thoughts was incredibly upsetting and, yes, triggering.

    You will ALWAYS find experts who will support both sides of the arguments. You all have experts saying they did the show in a horrible way-guess what? There’s experts that say the show was done perfectly. Both are verified experts on the topics of mental health, triggering issues, and sexual assault. Both sides will easily find these experts to support their argument.

    Every episode that was graphic had clear warnings that stayed on the screen for a good minute. And at the end of the series there is an after series that goes extremely in depth about the issue of suicide.

    Just because Hannah’s way of coping with her pain doesn’t fit your neat box of being suicidal, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I think another way to look at her tapes is-maybe she was showing them things they couldn’t see, the worst parts of themselves, in hopes that the next Hannah will be saved?

    Write a blog if you don’t agree with the show, warn people. That’s totally understandable. But maybe stop with the attacking of writers of the show, people who support the show, people who actually have been helped by the show? And maybe try researching before you rip people’s heads off? Because school counselors at both high school AND college are VERY WELL DOCUMENTED in covering up sexual assaults, aka, telling victims to “move on”. Hence, The Hunting Ground. Yes there is a LOT more to the Hunting ground, but don’t act like you know for a fact that counselors would never do what he did to Hannah, because you don’t know, because you didn’t bother to research. Your opinion is just enough. Once you’re right, that’s it, and nothing and no one can change your mind or talk to you.

    TWLOHA, do better. What do you think someone brand new to the organization will feel seeing Jamie attacking people who dare go against his opinion? What do you think they’ll feel seeing Jamie tell people that he got 600 likes on a tweet so he MUST be right? What about the stories of people who the show honestly helped? They matter, too. Do better, TWLOHA. Youve lost a supporter.

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    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi. Thank you for reading Jamie’s blog and commenting. Our hope as an organization is to always be there for the people we try to support day in and day out, to provide them with hope, and offer resources to aid them in their recovery. With this blog, the desire was to address the varying emotions pertaining to the show itself, rather than single out and support only one opinion/thought/emotion concerning the show. We are sorry if you do not agree, and we respect your opinion. If you would like to continue this conversation, we would encourage you to provide your email address, so we can contact you in private. Thank you again for taking the time to read Jamie’s words and offer feedback. Sending you hope.

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    2. Raven

      Agree with you about Jaime’s social media posts – I stopped following also.

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  23. Jody

    Thank you for addressing this issue in such a great and meaningful way. What a wonderful feeling to know there is support out there for those who need it.

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  24. Shalia DeClerk

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. My 14 year old daughter Jacki has been a huge supporter of TWLOHA and an advocate for getting the message of mental illness, pain, suicide, self harm and the fact that hope is real and help is real out there, regardless of the looks, stares and glances she receives from adults and students in her private school world where things like this “never” happen or just “aren’t real”. I didn’t have a problem with her watching 13 Reasons, and it did start good or great conversations between her and her friends, not just about the suicide aspect, but from the view of not knowing how one “little” thing can affect someone, how our actions do matter. It was hard to watch, emotions were tense. As I watched the pain of the parents trying to make sense of it all I remembered back 10 years ago as I sat in the ER with my oldest daughter crying as (removed to due nature of comment) she had harmed herself. Knowing that back 10 years ago I never would have imagined looking back and thinking it was a good day and I am the fortunate one, I didn’t have to bury a child. Please continue to keep the message going and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we will continue to do our best to keep the conversation going on our end. God Bless You All

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  25. Jennifer Zelenko

    Well written… Thank you!

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  26. Shaunna Bernshausen

    Thank you so much for writing this! My father-in-law (removed due to nature of comment) next door to us in his home one month ago. My 16 year old daughter, as a result, shared her struggle with self-harming a few years back. She has been ver vocal against this show the past month. Thank you for your organization and all it means to so many people. May you continue to be a blessing & hope to so many!

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  27. Kimmie

    Beautifully said! Much love and respect to TWLOHA. <3

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  28. India

    This … this is why I financially support TWLOHA. Thank you Thank you Thank you

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  29. Amy

    The triggers were tough. But I chose to get a tattoo instead of self harm. The tattoo says “you are never too lost, to be saved.”

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  30. Kayla Southwell

    This is so beautifully written. Thank you for all that you do.
    We love you too.

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  31. Katelynn DuBose

    I watched this series and I loved it for so many reasons. I was born one of three children, but have lost two brothers to suicide in my life and am now the only one. I’ve struggled my self with thoughts and feelings and I am very glad I watched this. I think this response is the best I’ve seen yet to all the controversy that this show has stirred up. I’m glad it was stirred though. Everyone should be facing the ugly truth of suicide and talking about it. I hope every person who watches this is more aware now of how they can effect someone and how they can help someone if thy pay attention more to others instead of themselves. Which seems to be a popular way of thinking in today’s youth.

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  32. Kelly

    Love you. Beautifully said, TWLOHA.

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  33. Degan

    There’s a kind of irony in the term “morbid curiosity,” and I knew after the first episode that nothing good could come of this. It should go without saying: while we all feel, we all feel differently. We all experience pain, we all harbor hurts. Hurts that build themselves up inside the darkest parts of us only to come back and haunt us when we least expect it. Not-so-twenty-something male, I thought I had worked past the things that hurt me throughout my twenties -and in some ways, I had. It’s been almost three years since I openly admitted, and wrote publicly, about coming to terms with depression. There’s been great days, and weeks, and there’s been some pretty rough ones. But not in three years have I felt heavy like this.

    What I wasn’t expecting was what lied far beneath the weight that I’ve been carrying. The scars I gave myself as a teenager. Art, fiction, exaggerated melodrama. Call this show what you will, and maybe I’m the weak one, but 13 Reasons removed the lid from an almost Pandora-like box. Memories long forgotten came to the surface, explicit and specific pains and memories came back into the light – or rather – drew all the light out of me.

    I started watching the show the Friday it premiered, and finished it Sunday evening. By Monday I was a ghost in a suit, forced back to my work week devoid of life and plagued by ghosts. Thankfully I’ve been, as I call it, shipwrecked, before and I knew how to find the light home. Here’s an excerpt from an old journal entry of mine:

    …That’s the other thing about depression, and clinical depression; when you’re trapped in that hurricane of despair, friends are like lighthouses. They are just beyond the reach of your pain, calling you to come home. Signaling you to safety. Signaling you to shore.

    That’s why we need friends, that’s why we need people. That’s why people need other people. We are all in this together. We all may be shipwrecked at one time or another, but we can also be lighthouses. We can always shine some hope for those lost at sea. And we must always be vigilant keepers of the light, because if we let go of that hope, we will be dooming ourselves and others to a fate worse than if there were no hope to begin with.

    Some may say art can never be too realistic. But what do we say to the artist who locks a dog in a cage and starves it to death in the middle of a gallery? Art exists to evoke the emotions that exist with the human condition… but to what end?

    I’m okay. Some days are better than others, I have some real fears that I still talk about – but only because I have some really big dreams. I volunteer with youth ministry, and I serve the greatest group of middle school boys I’ve ever met… if this show comes up, I know how to approach it, but my greatest hope is that when the hurts come, and they will, that I’ll be able to give them something I didn’t have when I was their age.

    Faith that tomorrow is worth waking up to.

    We need to be lighthouses among the shipwrecked.

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    1. Allie

      This is such an eloquent and beautiful response. Thank you for your bravery in sharing this and for using your experiences for good. I will remember your words and do my best to be a lighthouse among others.

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  34. Ashley M

    Jamie, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I started watching this show and had to stop because it was too painful to watch. It was triggering. I tried committing suicide at the age of 21 after I lost my mom. And I survived. The show made all those past feeling which I’ve buried come up. Thank you for being a support system and believing in all of us.


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  35. Carolyn

    Jamie, as always thank you for your words.

    I watched all of 13 Reasons Why and while I never personally struggled with suicide, I can truly understand how that portion of the show is triggering. I think the show aimed to do something good, but may have in fact done more harm than intended.

    The sexual assault scenes are what triggered me. My own past, full of events I am still recovering from years later, crept into my mind as I watched the rape scenes. I sat, unable to have my loving boyfriend comfort me, watching and feeling like I was reliving my own assaults. It was graphic and only meant to be graphic to make men feel uncomfortable, not to make women who have been assulted feel safe as they watched. It was a show that never thought about real victims, just the fictional ones.

    The day I finished the show, I felt hollow. I reached out to my support group, told them I was uncomfortable and felt uneasy, and was given the support I needed.

    Unfortunately, many people do not have the same support system I do. I hope those people find you, Jamie, and TWLOHA as I did so many years ago. I hope people will continue to start conversations about what is uncomfortable, but not at the expense of someone’s mental health.

    For me, watching 13 Reasons Why has taught me to further avoid my triggers. I tend to sit through things, like movies, books, songs, conversations, that make me feel unsafe and uncomfortable to keep those around me comfortable. After all, it’s often hard to say “I am a victim of assault” to your peers. But after this experience, I have started to put down the books, stop the movies, and say “that’s not funny” to the jokes. My mental health is more important.

    That’s what needs to come of this show. Each person needs to realize that their mental health is what is the most important thing in the world, and that reaching out and saying “I’m struggling” is the best way to get help. Be blunt, be brave, be better.

    Thank you for voicing an unpopular opinion. Because of you, I have learned to put my mental health above pop culture.

    As always, wishing you the best.

    Reply  |  
  36. Fae

    I just want to say that, sadly, a lot of high school counselors ARE that bad. I speak from personal experience.

    Now, counselors outside of high schools are another story entirely.

    Reply  |  
  37. Jayni Sims

    I have not seen this show, but I believe any exposure to real issues can be good. I know as a parent, I never knew what what going through my daughters mind or where to turn. She died 20 months ago…I wish she knew about your organization. I have an awesome therapist, well worth the cost!

    Reply  |  
  38. Jen

    Extremely well written, thank you. I struggled to watch it though I chose to watch it all a second time, fast forwarding though the gruesome scenes. I personally have been through some of these scenarios, and have experienced the loss of someone (a near spitting image of Hannah) to suicide at the same age. It was incredibly difficult to watch and not imagine the individual whom I lost, but it also made me think about my life growing up and how I want to raise my own children. As many instagram users have commented on the shows page, they seem to think her feelings towards most of what happened to her were trivial, but the guts of the story, of my story, of the story of the person I lost, truly comes down to taking stock in others feelings. Don’t shut them down or find them ridiculous or silly. Feelings are the way a person feels, not easily changed. And we never know what another is truly feeling or going through so we have to be more kind to one another, accepting and positive. As peers and as parents.

    It was hard, and I can see exactly how this could be triggering for many. But there really is good that comes from this show.

    Reply  |  
  39. Debbie Robinson

    I am so lost I am not even sure I could commit suicide without screwing it up

    Reply  |  
    1. Jen

      Being lost is okay, but please like you just did in this thread – reach out. TWLOA has some amazing resources, and every life is worth living, even if you think you may screw up your own death.
      I hope you find your path, and I want you to know that even though you are a name and a comment you are important to me, you are important to someone, at all times, and always.

      Reply  |  
    2. Virginia Flickinger

      Dear Debbie,
      I just read your comment and my heart feels heavy and sad for you that you feel this way 🙁 I have personally struggled my entire life with depression and suicidal thoughts etc and i also lost my only sibling, my Brother, to suicide. So i feel that i can relate to you on different levels. I want you to know that I CARE! YOU MATTER!! YOU ARE IMPORTANT!! I am here for you if you want to write to me and need someone to talk to or even just to vent and know that another human actually DOES CARE ABOUT YOU. I pray for you that you are feeling more hopeful today. Life can be tough at times. Trust me, I KNOW! But, it can also be very beautiful and rewarding as well❤

      Reply  |  
    3. Becky Ebert

      Debbie, thank you for commenting and sharing how you are feeling. We truly hope you know that you are not alone in your fight. There is help out there waiting for you. We will be emailing you from [email protected] in the very near future, hopefully to hear more of your story and provide you with resources. In the meantime, please visit our local resources page here: Also, as mentioned at the bottom of this particular blog, you can always seek our immediate professional aid by texting 741741 to TWLOHA via Crisis Text Line. You will be connected with a trained counselor. You are not alone. You are not these thoughts. You are brave and strong. Please continue.

      Reply  |  
  40. JL

    How is it any different with the TWLOHA movie?? That could trigger some people, too.

    Reply  |  
  41. Tiffany

    I’m replying due to your comment above about school counselor. I have worked as a school counselor for the past 2 years. While watching the show, I was appalled at how the school counselor handled this situation. However, I don’t think it is fair to discount all school counselors based on one fictional circumstance. School counselors are licensed trained mental health professionals and in my experience the vast majority of school counselors have every child’s best interest at heart. I don’t think it is fair to discount school counselors who are often the first person students will see when a student makes a suicidal comment. You are correct that school counselors aren’t the same as mental health counselors. However, school counselors serve an important role in the school community when working with students with suicidal ideation and thoughts.

    Reply  |  
  42. Sue M.

    Well stated, as always Jamie. Love infiltrated throughout every thing you touch/do.

    Reply  |  
  43. Jamie

    As someone who has thought about committing suicide, I think the show helped. Watching Hannah’s story from the third person it was obvious that she wasn’t truly alone and watching the horribly graphic scene of her death reminded me how much I don’t want to experience that. It was like a slap in the face, that dying is painful, messy, and scary and if I just hold out a little longer things could get better. So while the show was very hard to watch, I am glad that I did.

    Reply  |  
  44. Heather

    Honestly I’m previously diagnosed, but haven’t sought treatment in the past few years. This show was one of a few triggers to help me seek help again. I cried watching the pain and realized it was a wake up call for my own life. Having no one to turn to is the worst and seeking help but being shot down is devastating. We all deal with life differently and can’t compare one experience to another. This show is moving and if you’re not prepared it can be damaging. Just remember there is always help and support in all things even when you feel like there’s nobody who cares. Don’t stop trying. Never give up.

    Reply  |  
  45. Patti Dille

    Well said

    Reply  |  
  46. Carrie

    Thank you for this post Jamie. I have been unsure on whether to watch this show myself. I have struggled in years past and recently have entered a wonderful time in my life where I don’t feel the need to see a counselor and vice versa for the counselor to me. As she worded, she just has an open door if I feel the need to see her at any time. I’ve been worried that this show may trigger some unwelcomed feelings again. And I really value your opinion on this.

    I live in Milwaukee, and yesterday they had to close down a freeway bridge and talk someone off of the ledge. My heart ached for them after I heard the story on the news while visiting with my parents. I wish I could refer everyone in the world to this page to be reminded that there is a community out there that hurts, that needs to be reminded they’re important and loved, and that there are so many willing to help.

    Reply  |  
  47. Pingback: Sharing reviews and Thirteen Reasons Why | The Girlguiding Life

  48. Pingback: In Response to 13 Reasons Why - Hope Coalition of Boulder

  49. Djavila

    Thank you for this blog post. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. I just came across this article this morning stating that New Zealand has now put a rating on the show advising that teens should have some adult supervision when watching. To this I also say yes. While i applaud the intent of destigmatizing and opening up conversations this must all be handled responsibly.

    Here’s the link to the article:

    Reply  |  
  50. Emma Sullivan

    Thank you for always being so involved in our lives and our stories. Thank you for standing up for the hearts of so many of us, and speaking the words that often go unsaid. We love you!

    Reply  |  
  51. Dai Lis

    I honestly think that if they would have told the story differently, if they would have been softer, all this talking about this issues never would have happened. I think it was necessary to happen like this. I am so sorry for those who can’t watch it because it’s painful. But maybe is an opportunity to tell their story to someone or to everybody. I believe with all my heart that we are in a moment special in history because of the show, that this open the door to do many people to talk about it. I had suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, they never stopped being just thoughts. My little brother was my first reason not to do it, among others reasons. Maybe we can look in our hearts which are our reasons to stay. Or even more, try to be one of the reasons why someone else stayed. ❤

    Reply  |  
  52. Priscilla Weber

    Beautifully done! I myself am recovering and still seeking counseling. I started the show but couldn’t get into it. Glad I didn’t since I have heard that people have been triggered by watching it. I am glad that mental health is becoming less taboo and more people are seeking help. Keep being a beacon of hope in a dark time TWLOHA!

    Reply  |  
  53. Louvenia

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  54. Katie

    I, too, understand both sides. And while I would never recommend this to someone who has a past with feelings, thought, or actions of self-harm and/or suicide, I think the show is done well. Sure, it’s hard to watch in the last few episodes, but there are too many people today who are blind to these issues, of depression, suicide, and rape. Nothing should be simplified because it’s hard to watch. As I said, if its a trigger warning for someone, don’t watch. If it’s not, i think they should watch. There needs to be more awareness. More raw awareness. Don’t sugar coat anything. People need to know the truth.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dai Lis

      Exactly! There had been other shows that tried to deal with this issues, Glee for example, but the only thing that they did was to shock for a moment.

      Reply  |  
  55. Ben

    I thought that yes it was painful but I feel it was a pain that every one needs to feel wile watching it to fully know how Hanna baker was feeling and the same pain the some of us feel every day

    Reply  |  
  56. Donna Belviso

    God bless you and the help you offer

    Reply  |  
  57. Hailey

    I love how this was put! Showing support for anyone who had any number of responses for the show. Thank you for always being there for those needing the help and being there to guide those giving the help. Love you guys!

    Reply  |  
  58. Lexi

    You probably shouldnt have a huge spoiler in here. I was interested in watching it but now i know what happens

    Reply  |  
  59. Annie Dunavan

    As a School Counselor I want you to know that most, if not all, School Counselors would respond appropriately to suicidal ideation in a student. Our professional ethics require us to know how to evaluate and respond to talk of suicide by a student. Furthermore, any student who is suicidal would be referred immediately to a mental health professional. The School Counselor would then stay with the student until they are in the care of an adult who will get them to this professional. It makes me sad and angry that the show portrays a School Counselor so poorly. Often School Counselors are the first line of defense for students who need mental health services. Please make sure those who follow your organization know that they can turn to their School Counselor for help.

    Reply  |  
  60. jarmfield

    Thank you for all you do. I’m grateful for your presence. You made a difference in my daughter’s life and I still have her with me because she found you.

    Reply  |  
  61. Lisa

    Well played, TWLOHA, and well written. I support you. As the mother of a wonderful daughter who has felt the pain you speak of and also as a school counselor, I have not yet decided whether to watch 13 Reasons Why. If I do choose to view it, I am very glad I read this first.

    Reply  |  
  62. Madelyn

    I disagree. As a survivor myself and a lover of the book, I think it is so important that the show was created. Of course, there were problems with the show that were not even in the book (e.g. the literal suicide scene and shorting situation). And I wish those weren’t in the show as it kind of hurts the entire reputation. However, I think saying it is glorifying suicide or a poor portrayal of real life is so wrong to say. Especially towards the creators and author who are literally pouring out their hearts and things they’ve experienced first hand. For what? The world to say they don’t know what it really feels like? It’s so upsetting to see them torn apart like that by people who don’t even care to look up their backstory.

    The actors and actresses spent time with professionals as well as people going through these real life situation so that they could be as authentic and as sensitive as possible. What did you want them to do? Not talk about it? Then what’s the point? Disagreeing with this show is disagreeing with TWLOHA’s whole mission.

    Reply  |  
  63. Chrissy

    Thank you for this article. I’m a 33 year old mom who has struggled with depression and suicide. My daughter who is 14 brought this show to my attention. She wanted permission to watch it. I told her I had to watch it first. (Removed comment due to content.) I never wanted my kids to go through what I went through. What I still deal with. At the end of the series I broke down crying. My husband confused tried to comfort me. This show left me in a dark place. As someone who dealt with sexual abuse, rape, bullying and addiction, this show was way too triggering. However it made me realize I’ve never dealt with the hurt and pain. I’ve decided NOT to let my daughter watch this in fear she couldn’t handle it. Where we live it’s very hard to reach out for help due to limited resources or not enough light shed on the subject. I strongly urge not to watch this alone, or to make sure your strong in your recovery. If it wasn’t for my beautiful babies, Im not sure if I could have pulled myself out of that dark place.

    Reply  |  
  64. Celeste Fatherly

    It was kind of hard to watch the last episode more than it was the rest. I’ve struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts and actions for years. Last year I tried to end my life. My parents thankfully got me (partial comment removed due to content) the medical help that was needed. When watching the last episode of 13 Reasons Why, it immediately made me think of my parents. But for me, it helped show me just how upset my parents would’ve been [if I hadn’t lived]. It made me want to fight for my life and my happiness more than anything ever has. If you’re someone who the show negatively impacted, I’m truly sorry it gave you those feelings. But I’m beyond grateful for the effect it had on me personally.

    Reply  |  
  65. Annie

    First of all, let me say that I’m over three years in recovery from depression, I’ve also attempted suicide more then once and I AM a supporter of 13RW. Although, I need to explain how I mean it.
    Before the show arrived I’d pondered the watching very seriously and ended up watching it. Yes, the show is brutal and I had problems with three scenes, but I wasn’t triggered at all. Which makes me say the next thing. The show isn’t meant for people in recovery (and I mean it in a good way) because we don’t need to watch it – we live/d it, we experienced the thoughts, we know the point so why do we have to watch it? We do NOT have to! It’s my decision and I don’t regret it by any means, but I am not a huge fan of people saying that people in recovery should watch it.
    The show is for the bullies, for the people who (un)intentionally cause pain, who don’t think that their words or actions may hurt someone so deeply and last but not least, it is for people who suffer in silent, those who think they don’t have a problem. 13RW doesn’t say that if you’ve lost everything you should end your life, it says that even if you’ve lost everything, even when you don’t have the help you need, there’re people who stand by you, who love you. It encourages people to be kinder to each other, to say things they’re afraid to say because you don’t know what could help the other person and it shows the consequences when they don’t do that. That’s the lesson people in recovery know, but it must be spread, and it must be in this form.
    So, nobody tells you to watch it if you’re in recovery, like I said there’s no need to. But if you aren’t or if you don’t know what it feels like or you are one of the bullies, you definitely should.

    Reply  |  
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  68. dana zais

    As a mental health professional who works with teens in crisis, I love this ! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply  |  
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  70. laura

    please provide more information for me to address in my therapeutic groups.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi Laura. If you are seeking more information pertaining to resources, please email us at [email protected]. Sending you hope.

      Reply  |  
  71. Kameron Jae Stanko

    I agree with this article so much. While the show was gaining popularity online, I was happy; people were finally talking about mental health and suicide ideation. But, I was also worried; people were talking about mental health and suicide ideation. Some people who haven’t had much experience with mental illness in their lives, truly did learn from 13RW. While others, may have felt the producers did a poor job of showing the reality of mental illness and sexual assault. I have mixed feelings about the show as somebody who has recently started my journey to recovery, and I wasn’t sure how to answer when people asked me how i felt about the show. A lot of twitter social activists suggest how terribly misleading and wrong the show is, even though it brought the topic of mental health into light.

    Reply  |  
    1. Mama Bear

      First, I would like to say to everyone on this thread, thank you for sharing your feelings and views on the message you received from the show. Thank you for sharing your personal losses and dealings of depression. I am one of the Executive Producers of the show. While, everyones experiences in life are different it is unfair to assume there was no in depth research on such a horrific reality. I, myself, attempted suicide, was raped, was molested, let down by my counselor in a horrific way, I was beat by boys and girls. I lost several friends and family members to suicide, I even witnessed two. Needless to say, I did not go to a university to understand these feelings nor did we rely simply on books to execute this long over due voice for victims. I live with those feelings everyday. We worked with experts who shared different opinions, we had parents who lost children on set, our talent went to therapy. This was not to raise ratings, this was to raise awareness. No, we did not sugar coat this issue, no we did not sugar coat rape and we did not sugar coat what we send our kids out into the world to everyday. There is warnings at the beginning of the graphic episodes, there is a Reasons Why follow up episode discussing reaching out for help and even a website set up for resources. I support the message to be cautious but, I do not support the shaming of our message out right. This is the first resource that hit 41 countries and has the world discussing something that has been treated as taboo. The continuation of shutting down the show is taking away the voices of the people who never spoke up and finally feel justice. Yes, it is hard to watch a rape scene but, imagine being the girl being raped? Should it of been easier for you so, you didn’t have to feel the pain she felt? The victims are afraid of being put on trial. Sadly, that happens. No one was perfect in the show but, turning a blind eye or the natural state of being in denial because it is human nature to protect yourself from pain has not worked. This show whether you support it or not has parents and children talking. Parents and schools opening their eyes more. Letters are being sent home, i don’t care if it says to NOT let your child watch it, it is connecting people to fight against a travesty. I read somewhere that this show was causing hotlines to blow up and that 13 was being mentioned as the reason they were calling. Am I wrong to say, Thank you God, they have the courage to reach out for help, there is no shame anymore. This show has granted so much exposure to so many amazing organizations that can continue they great effort. I am glad parents are having to take a beat and face the reality of what it is to be a teenager. Yes, I am a parent, of two. I developed this show with my child for 8 yrs. When you stand for something this strong you do not take it lightly. Just because we made a television show does not mean we did it for fame. I attempted suicide at 7yrs old. This was not a job for me, I do not want any child or person to never feel their value or to be to ashamed to ask for help because I never had anyone. But, I am here. This maybe why. We need to love each other more, we need to really see people more and unfortunately social media has numbed our world of real emotions. I had to navigate my way through my entire life and figure it out on my own that i had a mental illness. I didn’t get the proper diagnoses until I was 24 yrs old that I was bi-polar. Over 25 different therapist, every medication under the sun and I did it all alone. Not a soul knew because I was ashamed. Now millions of souls knows there are millions of other souls that can help each other.

      Keep the conversation going, just don’t put the stigma back on the issues, please. We have made progress.

      Reply  |  
  72. Erin

    Thank you for writing. I’m glad to know that I’m prioritizing recovery rather than being “over-reactive”.

    Reply  |  
  73. Pingback: Suicide: The conversations 13 Reasons sparked

  74. Bennie-Mae Greene

    Thank you for this article, my 21 year old grand daughter this past week was so depressed she wanted to end the suffering BUT because she is surrounded by so many caring people they were able to contact each other family friends police to find her then created a bubble of love and safety that revealed to her she is so special to us. Now where do we go from here.
    She said she knows she needs help but where do you begin? Steps to help and support. How to choose a counselor?

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi Bennie-Mae. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us. Your granddaughter is truly fortunate to have such caring and loving people in her life. We are so glad she came to the realization and truth that she is loved and needed here. Please do not feel overwhelmed at this point, though it is difficult not to. You all are making the best decision for her: getting help. Yes, there are lots of counselors available, but trying to find the right one can seem daunting. But you will find someone who can provide your granddaughter with the aid and support she needs. It may not even be the first counselor she speaks with, but there is a professional out there who can help her, just as you are by being there for her and walking through this process together. If you want to share more of your story, or your granddaughter needs someone to listen, we can be reached at [email protected]. Sending you all hope.

      Reply  |  
  75. Amy M Brooks

    I’m 55 and have BPD with all the typical symptoms, suicidal thoughts, self-harm…
    A girl I work with watched the whole series in 2 days. So I decided to watch it. It took me over a week to watch. I could only watch a little bit of an episode at a time. But I watched it. Some people say this show glamorizes suicide. I don’t think so. Some people say the scene shouldn’t have been portrayed that way. I say why not? (Comment removed due to content.) It’s not pretty. It’s sad. The show did trigger things in me but I have a wonderful DBT therapist and I could talk to her about it. I hope and pray that the people that watch this have someone to talk to about all of this. Mental Illness and Bullying need to be on the forefront. I think this was done very well.

    Reply  |  
  76. faith

    the show was based off of a book of the same title. the book does a much better job of showing her feelings, where as the show makes it seem like her feelings weren’t really that important. It just seemed strange to me saying that was the entire point of the plot.

    Reply  |  
  77. Vincent DiTucci

    I lost my wife by suicide 3 years ago. I have three children who were 8,9, and 12 at the time. As we all struggle with the loss, my daughter (9) seemed to be taking it the hardest. At 10 she started talking about having suicidal thoughts herself and has done so consistently. She overheard me talking about the show and seemed interested. I wanted to watch it first but she beat me to it. At the end she came to me and asked if we can have a serious talk. She expressed how she didn’t realize how her possible death would impact me or her friends and family. The ending scene (comment removed due to content) really hit her hard and made her think. She admitted that she really doesn’t want to hurt herself or anyone else. Her dark thoughts, as we called them, were blocking her from seeing the real and final consequences. She also was then able to ask many questions about my wife and her death,that she was not able to ask before. For a couple months prior to watching the show she was in a good place and I worried the show might set her back, but the opposite happened. It helped her see through her darkness and see that she wants to live and be happy. The open dialogue we had was healing for her and for me as well. Her therapist agreed and has noticed a real changei in her,for the better, for the first time in a long time. I understand the down side of the show and the possible interpretation of sensationalizing suicide, but it has helped us and I’m thankful for the increased dialogue the show has brought to mental illness.
    Always keep fighting.

    Reply  |  
  78. Madd

    I really appreciated the show as a whole. It was definitely triggering at some points, but having read the book in high school I was able to prepare myself (mostly).
    It was hard to watch. It should be. These topics aren’t easy to talk about or deal with. Sometimes talking about the issues delicately is beneficial. Sometimes diving right into the messy emotions and actions is helpful. It was raw and honest, and in my experience a very real and candid portrayal of what can actually happen in a persons mind and to their life when they experience bullying, rape and sexual assault, self harm and loss of meaningful relationships.
    I think the creators, writers, directors, producers of this show did a great job. The rating for the show (TV-MA) was absolutely appropriate, the trigger warnings were on point, and the post production wrap up with resources was perfect. There are probably some things they could have done better, but it was a strong and effective attempt to get people talking about sensitive and salient issues facing many people (not just those with diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues) everyday. But I definitely agree with TWLOHA. Self-care is paramount. Don’t watch if it’s too much for you, or if your not in a good place. And if you do watch, make sure you’ve got a friend or counselor you can debrief with. It can make all the difference. For me it was really cathartic to be able to see those sensitive and heart wrenching things portrayed and really be able to process them.

    Reply  |  
  79. Pingback: An In-Depth Analysis of 13 Reasons Why

  80. Jeff's Mom

    Thank you for this post and all the respondents. I struggled with the choice of whether or not to watch 13 Reason Why, which came out very shortly after I lost my beautiful son to suicide at age 25. I decided not to watch it and after reading this article and all the responses, I am glad that I made that decision. I am just too raw right now. I hope to someday be able to either watch the series or read the book, as I feel that it is important for me to understand more fully the decision my son made (though the circumstances were different for him). I appreciate this article and this fine organization. We recently held a facebook fundraiser for TWLOHA, as my son was very engaged in a college chapter. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do every day.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Dear Jeff’s mom,

      We are incredibly sorry for your loss. Please know that you are not alone. If you would email us at [email protected] we would be honored to talk with you more about your story and Jeff’s. Please include your initial comment in the email, and we will certainly read and respond. You are so strong and brave. But you are not alone in your journey. Sending hope.

      Reply  |  
  81. B

    I appreciate your comments, and as always, your caring words. I do want to comment that I agree that School Counselors and Mental Health Counselors are different professions, and have different licenses. However, I am incredibly disappointed in the way the School Counselor role was mentioned in this post. There are many professionals in both fields that might not have chosen the right career path, and may not be as effective as others in their field. It is unfair and not helpful to discount all of the great school counselors our there, who would know how to handle such situations. I want to believe that twloha would support students utilizing their school counselors or other trusted adults as a first point of contact when they are reaching out for help.

    Reply  |  
  82. Cat

    THANK YOU ! ?

    Reply  |  
  83. Pingback: 13 Reasons Why: 10 Resources you need to see before you watch the TV show

  84. Charelle

    As much as I respect this organization and all the opinions I see I have to say that I felt the show and this book helped me. I’ve had feelings of suicide and self harm since I was 16. Reading the book helped me talk bout my feelings whether it be a journal or friend. It got me talking which I thought was amazing since I’m such a private person. I watched the show with my sister and mother. Even though some may think the show is too brutal, it is just telling the truth. It’s hard to get help from school counselor who dont understand or friends whobare a little to self absorbed in their own lives to listen. The show got me talking to my mother n got her to listen. She now knows how i felt on high school and now. I love that the show got people talking because without it I think not as many people would be reaching out for help.

    Reply  |  
  85. Pingback: 3 Articles You Must Read Before You Watch '13 Reasons Why' | CBN Europe

  86. Charlotte Carbaugh

    Okay I have to say- I haven’t seen the show/read the book, but something about all this discourse bugs me:
    It’s like we’re not allowed to talk about the dark side of being suicide.
    It feels like we’re not allowed to mention the hard parts. How the depression makes going on living almost impossible. How the people who torment you don’t just go away, in flesh or memory, and how they are almost impossible to silence. How the mental health system is screwed up royally and can make things WORSE.
    Cause for me? I saw 5 counselors/therapists/psychiatrists as a child…. all of whom made the situation WORSE. They didn’t know what they were doing, they didn’t know how to help me, and all they did was a) make my condition more severe and b) make me not trust anyone remotely related to psychology.
    And talking to adults? Wasn’t an option. Oh I tried. Oh DID I TRY. But I got laughed off. Called a liar, called a drama queen, called a brat. Going to adults? Wasn’t an option. Asking for help wasn’t an option.
    I had to wait for my abuser- my mom- to pass before I could get help.

    And it feels like that side can’t be talked about.

    Look, 13 reasons seems to be incredibly vindictive and that seems to be the point. “Look at how horrible all of YOU are” more than “this is what living with suicidal depression and abuse is like” and that isn’t helpful, isn’t right, isn’t gunna do any good. But in reading the reviews/responses to this… all I see is sugarcoating.

    No one’s allowed to talk about the reasons someone might be suicidal, no one’s allowed to talk about why it seems to be a good option, why fixing it sometimes ISN’T an option. No one’s allowed to say “hey, sometimes life is shit and it’s gunna stay shit for a long time, so just get used to it.” No, it’s always, “just talk to someone and everything will get better.” That isn’t reality. Or it wasn’t mine.
    And frankly… I wish someone would talk about the dark side of it, for once. Because I always felt so utterly alone, because all stuff ya’ll say- “just talk to someone””see a therapists””go on meds” “ignore the abuser””the abuser isn’t the problem” etc; weren’t ever options for me. My one and only option was hunker down and endure, with no help at all, until the situation ended. And no one understands that it seems, because I always get ‘well why didn’t you talk to anyone?”
    Because I didn’t have that choice.

    (Sorry for hijacking this thread so much, I just- the discourse around this show bothers me A LOT)

    Reply  |  
  87. Brittany Z

    I watched the show, I took breaks but I just finished it and all I can think about is how I wondered how I could help someone like Hanna, I had friends that helped me when I wanted to end my life and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be sitting her. I am glad that they didn’t shy way from sexual assault or suicide. It’s something that not many people talk about, and I think it is very important to talk about. I like you all wish that Hanna knew how special, beautiful, and that she was more then the things that went around school about her. I wish she would have known that and ending her life should have never been an option.

    Reply  |  
  88. Jo

    A conversation I overheard today in my house
    1:That’s how you do it, thats how you [die by suicide]. You (comment removed due to content).
    Kid 2: How do you know?
    Kid 1: I saw it on 13 reasons why, thats how she did it.

    Breaks my heart. This isn’t something we can just mess around with.

    Reply  |  
    1. Christine

      I have always supported and admired this organization but with your response to this show it makes me thing you want things all “light and fluffy.” Nothing real! This is happening in our schools! Kids do these things. It needs to be talked about and not hidden or glossed over. Very disheartening!!!

      Reply  |  
  89. Craig

    Best and most balanced view of the show that I have read. Well done.

    Reply  |  
  90. Dylan

    I wish that I wouldn’t have watched 13 Reasons Why. At the time it was hard to watch scenes filled with sexual assault and even harder for me to watch Hannah take her life. I remember during that scene thinking “they won’t show it.” I was shocked and disgusted when they chose to. I was addicted to the series but after I finished it I felt wrong. Something inside of me wasn’t settling right.

    I didn’t think much of it then. I couldn’t get the image of Hannah taking her life out of my mind for the longest time. It scarred me in a way. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to forget that scene. I have struggled with suicidal thoughts all of my life and have also been a victim of self-injury yet this somehow to things to an entire new level. I think it’s the first time that I’ve actually seen this happen on camera.

    I was taking Lexapro to help with my anxiety. One of the side effects my doctor warned me about was becoming suicidal. After watching 13 Reasons Why and about a month on Lexapro I started becoming suicidal. For a while now I’ve been obsessed with the idea of self-harming and especially the idea (comment removed due to content) in the way Hannah chose to. I’m choosing not to do those things. I want to live a healthy and happy life. I am strong enough.

    I didn’t realize that 13 Reasons Why had put these ideas in my head. Lexapro certainly didn’t help but the things Hannah chose to do to herself were something I had not thought about before, at least for a long time. This show wasn’t an immediate trigger for me but one that has developed over time. I wish that I wouldn’t have watched it.

    I’m not trying to give you medical advice but please be careful with this show.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert


      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We are sorry that you are feeling triggered. But please know that you are doing the best thing you can possibly do by asking for help.

      You are always welcome to email us at [email protected] if you wish to share your feelings or are just simply looking for someone to listen. And, if those thoughts of suicide or urges to harm yourself arise once more, you can text TWLOHA to 74741. You will be connected almost immediately to a trained counselor via Crisis Text Line. There is help out there and we are so grateful you are seeking it.

      Reply  |  
  91. savannah

    I wholeheartedly agree with that all

    Reply  |  
  92. Kara darr

    That show inspiered me to get the word out there that this is not OK and it’s not there falt. I love this show because people are so blind on the fact that people struggle every day with debating if they should live or not. We need to get the word out about suicide and not shy away from it. That’s what this show does and people are talking about that’s better than just ignoring themail fact that this a problem and it needs to be fixed. I wached the show and I have had a past with suicide and yes it brought back flashbacks but still it got people talking about it.

    Reply  |  
    1. Sara

      Fully agree with you!

      Reply  |  
  93. Carol

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply  |  
  94. Helvi

    What does TWLOHA stand for?

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      TWLOHA stands for To Write Love on Her Arms. You can learn more about our non-profit organization here: Thank you for your interest, Helvi. Sending you hope.

      Reply  |  
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  97. Nikki

    This was very well said. This show was very triggering for me through the entire season. I couldn’t stop watching it though because it felt like someone understood what I am going through. Someone understands what it feels like to feel like an outsider to everyone…like you don’t belong. My mom died by suicide and there was no signs for me to see. She hid it very well, but I was also fourteen. My life was so innocent, and pure. The day she passed it turned black and into a living nightmare. Nothing can ever fill that void. I was also sexually assaulted a year ago and in that moment you just loose all pieces of yourself. You feel disgusting, numb, shattered. You cant escape that feeling, the flashbacks, the night terrors, the fear. Two nights after, I sat down and wrote a suicide note to my family and friends…I took a [removed due to content] and was prepared to go. Luckily my aunt found me in time, and I was hospitalized in a mental hospital for two weeks. So this show really struck a nerve for me and I fell into a serious depressed state again. It took everything in me to not self harm. I literally got up and jumped around the living room to tire myself out so the urges and thoughts would go away. I just want to apologize for anyone that this show triggered. But I am also thankful for this show because my family has texted me and said that they now have a bit of understanding of what im going through. I hope everyone remains strong and keeps their head held high. Remember we are not alone. <3

    Reply  |  
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  99. Kerri

    Thank you. As someone who stopped my best friend from ending her life at 15, I’ve chosen to NOT watch this show. I don’t need any of those memories coming back.

    Reply  |  
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  101. Maja

    I remember reading the book a few years back when I was 13. I really enjoyed mysteries and thrillers at the time and a friend had shown it to me. I was shocked, especially since it made me realise that my friend might be depressed. It took a while for me to forget that book. Although a couple of my friends really enjoy the new series, I’ve decided to not watch it myself. I think it would bring back many memories I’d rather not revisit.

    Reply  |  
  102. Patricia

    I have watched the show and found that it was well written. I personally didn’t find it triggering, however, when it hit the topic of loneliness I did find myself a tad tearful cause I could relate to it so much.

    Reply  |  
  103. Vernon James

    I understand the concern that some have about this series’ impact on at risk youth; but what i don’t here discussed is the impact this show might have on at risk “perpetrators”. The show is criticized for painting the parents as aloof and the counselors as incompetent. As a parent who watched the entire series, and does not permit my children to view something i have not first screened or watched in it’s entirety beforehand, i felt MY consciousness open. Am i doing all i can to be aware of my childrens’ state? Am i blinding trusting the system of schools/counselors to work in the best interest of my child? Am i being as accountable as i should be for my childrens’ wellbeing when i know and understand that they spend more hours of a given day “in the system” than they do with me? Those were my take aways. To expand, how many bullies or assault perpetrators saw themselves for the first time because of the “no holds barred” depictions in the show? These are questions i hear neither pundits nor professionals discussing amidst the controversy of this show. I am not attemptimg to dismiss the triggers that i agree fully exist for at risk persons. As a grown and self actualized man, i cried multiple times throughout the series, so i know first hand thay the triggers are real. However, we have to explore the reality that those at risk persons aren’t the sole viewers of the show; and in my assessment, aren’t the sole target audience for the show. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Reply  |  
  104. Jackie

    Who is this “we” and why should people care if “we” hopes this or hopes that. Bug deal.

    Reply  |  
  105. punctum35

    I reluctantly watched the first season a few months ago. The show doesn’t have to be about a subject that’s taboo. As far as I’m concerned sometimes a primetime sitcom or even the local news could have triggering effects. However, I believe we should shield ourselves if we must, while keeping in mind that it had a tragic yet a plausible storyline

    Reply  |  
  106. Lea

    I suffer from mental illness and have for quite a few years. I read the book in middle school and I enjoyed it. When I saw it was available to stream I went for it. I could only watch the until episode 1 season 1. It triggered a lot in me and yes a lot of me has curiosity as to how the show came out but.. in my hour watching it felt different than when I read the books years ago and I felt lost and had to reconnect myself after two days. I won’t let myself go through that again but maybe this show will have the ability to show others through the eyes of the beholder..

    Reply  |  
  107. Kent

    Sooo, watch it because it engages good conversation and don’t watch it because its triggering…way to take a clear stand. If young people could be tipped over the edge by this show then it is toxic, no matter how many conversations are started. Why not state this plainly?

    Reply  |  
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