"HELLO, boys and girls. Hannah Baker here. No return engagements. No encore. And this time, absolutely no requests. I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why."
These lines started it all. These exact lines captivated millions and billions of people around the world, it was given life with witty story line and impressive cinematography. But past technicalities and scoring, is the story itself safe to us all?
The series, adapted from a 2007 novel by Jay Asher, tells the story of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, a high school pupil who commits suicide. In lieu of a note, viewers learn the character has left 13 cassette tapes, each addressed to a different person whom Hannah felt was instrumental in leading her to the point where she felt she had no option but to kill herself.
What scares me the most is the fact that a lot of people don't know that these kinds of film materials generally activate suicidal tendencies and trigger depression.
People in general post their distress in social media bringing up past problems and resurfacing the dreadful emotion which one way or another triggers such tendencies.
Reviews on 13 Reasons Why share the general concern of these messages and express their disbelief in the content of the story.
Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (Save), said he has received calls and e-mails from parents and school guidance counselors about the show. “There is a great amount of concern in the suicide prevention community around this series,” he said.
“Young people are not that great at separating fiction from reality,” Reidenberg said. “That gets even harder to do when you’re struggling with thoughts.”
Executive producer Selena Gomez says: "We wanted to do it in a way where it was honest, and we wanted to make something that can hopefully help people, because suicide should never, ever be an option." Gomez adds: "There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that you need help". It is our lives on the line.
After all, it all boils down to the question, how do you value your life? (Dave Alocelja, NDDU Intern)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 07, 2017.
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