How to talk to young people about 13 Reasons Why – Reason 1

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By providing clear ‘reasons’ why a person would suicide, the show suggests that suicide is ‘reasonable’ if certain criteria are met.

Research show: Young people who have experienced similar problems may start to view suicide as a reasonable option. This approach also disregards the experience of those who cannot identify obvious reasons for their distress or suicidal thoughts.

How to instead talk to a young person about this:

  • Reiterate that suicide is not a common or helpful response to life’s challenges, and that there are always better ways to deal with problems, no matter how hopeless they may seem.
  • Encourage young people who are going through a tough time to try the headspace Tips for Looking after Your Mental Health and Wellbeing and to seek support from friends, family and/or professional services if things don’t improve (a list of services is provided below).
  • Remind young people that any feelings of distress are valid and warrant support, whether there is a specific reason for these feelings or not.
  • Acknowledge the range of factors that may increase a person’s risk of suicide, including mental health issues.

Source: Headspace.

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