I just finished season 3 of 13 Reasons Why. I know there’s a ton of people out there who are against the show (and novel) and would like to see it banned. However, I am firmly in the camp of people that values popular media that is willing to make us uncomfortable in order to draw attention to an important topic or issue.
13 Reasons Why deals with suicide, bullying, rape, PTSD, and gun violence — to name a few. It is bold and disturbing, but I truly believe that it is done with good intentions. Not only does each episode come with a disclaimer as well as helpful resources for affected individuals, but also the series itself has brought about crucial conversations among peers and between parents and children.
If we don’t talk about difficult subjects, then people will continue to suffer in silence.
This is a key point in season 3, as students deal with sexual assault and the aftermath of season 2’s conclusion. While there’s a lot to unpack in the latest season, here I just want to stress one takeaway that I found really important.
One of the characters, Tyler, was bullied ruthlessly in season 2, which resulted in him almost making a terrible decision. He didn’t because a group of people came around him and helped him. And all throughout season 3, this group of people is committed to helping him and being there for him every second of the day. Most of them don’t even really like him, but they don’t give up on him. They care about him because he is a human being that needed a support system.
If you need help, tell those around you, and if you know someone that needs help, go to them. It’s scary to talk about difficult topics, but I promise you that there is such freedom and healing that comes with being open.
Move from the darkness and isolation into the light.
If you have a story about mental illness—whether personal or concerning a loved one—please consider sharing your experience by writing a guest post, doing an interview with one of us, or joining the team as a regular contributor. Even if you aren’t at a place yet where you feel comfortable disclosing your name, the church body needs your voice. Let’s shine a light on the darkness, together.