Here’s the truth. 13 Reasons Why is a Netflix original show. It is entertainment. People have ranted and raved about whether it should or should not be out there. Well, all that attention means a second season is coming. This is a testament that any press is good press. It brought a lot of attention but to what end? I hope it promoted meaningful conversation between teens and adults, and I trust that this week we have encouraged more good discussion. That is why we wanted to end our blog series with this particular post. One thing I felt was missing from the whole show was examples of people seeking out help and succeeding. Why is that? Is it that it would have taken away from the entertainment value? I don’t believe so. I think they missed a major opportunity to model for teenagers how to seek out helpful resources.
We are continuing our series on the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why as we talk about recovery. This is not an easy topic, and season 2 of 13 Reasons Why handles recovery in many different ways. Whether you have seen the show or not, you will want to join our discussion to know what teens are being exposed to when it comes to recovery from the loss of a loved one, an attempted suicide, substance abuse, sexual assault, and more. Recovery is not a straight line. It can be messy and difficult, but we must do our best to equip and empower students to recover well and to reach out for support when they need it. Do you know a teenager who is trying to recover? Listen to this episode for insight into how recovery is talked about in the media and what we can learn from it. Let’s show teenagers a better way to recover!
As a younger Millennial myself, I was both intrigued and disturbed by “13 Reasons Why.” While watching the 13 episodes of season one, I saw why it was so popular. I understood why teenagers were flocking towards its authenticity and courage to face topics that are often shoved aside. I got how this polarizing show was starting conversations and making an often overlooked population feel heard and understood. These are all positive things; however, I saw several things that made me nervous. Teenagers are at a vulnerable age, especially since they are so heavily influenced by the media. While I do agree with several of the things that this series can contribute to our culture, here are some things that I believe were lacking in “13 Reasons Why”…
13 Reasons Why is the Netflix series that has made a huge impact, especially in the lives of teenagers and young adults. Because of the media attention this show has gotten, we have decided to tackle the difficult topics addressed in season 2. This is the first episode in a podcast series about 13 Reasons Why that we will be releasing in order to help adults have positive conversations with teens, whether you have seen the series or not! In this episode, the Teen Life staff will briefly introduce 13 Reasons Why and then dive into the topic of intervention and how it is shown in the hit Netflix series. Chris, Karlie, and Beth discuss intervention in the midst of school shootings, self-harm, substance abuse, suicide, and more. You’ll find resources for teens and adults and some ways to start this conversation with the teen in your life. How do you know if someone is hurting? Listen to this episode for signs to look out for and some listening skills so you won’t miss them. Join the discussion as we talk about the importance of intervention in the lives of teenagers.
*This is the first in a series of three blog posts that we released Summer 2017 regarding season one of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” Subscribe to the Teen Life Podcast to catch our upcoming podcast series breaking down season two of the series. This is a great place to start though!
13 Reasons Why is a wildly popular series on Netflix. While Netflix does not release viewing numbers, Variety reports that it was the most tweeted show of 2017 thus far, having received more than 11 million tweets within the first 4 weeks of its initial release. The show is based on Jay Asher’s book by the same name and details the events leading up to the suicide of Hannah Baker, with 13 tapes identifying someone who played a role in her decision.
This past week I had the honor of speaking to about 100 students over the span of four nights at a church camp. I’ve never been asked to keynote a whole camp before, so obviously I was thrilled to have the opportunity. Our topic was about identity, which is a theme this particular group of students has been studying over the last year. I believe identity is one of the most important topics anyone can engage in when it comes to socialization, personality, spirituality, relationships, really anything. This is especially true with teenagers.
We all dread the unexpected, but you never think it could happen to you or your kid. In the final episode of this series on The Unexpected, Dana Gage shares the story of her youngest son, Connor Gage, and his death in 2012. 15-year-old Connor went to the lake for a birthday party and after jumping from the boat dock, did not resurface. The Gage family was completely changed from that day forward, but there is so much more to their story now! In this emotional and honest interview, Dana shares the story of their family and their continued road to healing. It has not been easy or simple, but the Gage family is striving to live buoyantly in honor of Connor. In this episode, we talk about grief, the role of social media, water safety, and supporting siblings who have lost loved ones. If you have experienced the loss of child, or are walking through life with a teen who has lost a loved one, this is the podcast for you! We invite you to join our conversation with Dana Gage.
13 Reasons Why. Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Suicide has been all over the news and social media the past 6 weeks. If you have missed it, you weren’t paying attention. Or you have been trying to avoid it. But it’s an important conversation to have and to keep having. As I read through articles related to 13 Reasons Why for our upcoming Teen Life Podcast series and scrolled through articles about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I noticed a trend. Somewhere in the article (often at the bottom) was a disclaimer. These disclaimers have value and I believe should be included in media articles related to those who have died by suicide. It is definitely an improvement over nothing. It starts a conversation about suicide prevention and awareness – which we need. However, there needs to be more.
In this episode of this series, we are talking to Tyson Dever, author of Trauma is a Team Sport, about life after the unexpected happens. As a young adult, Tyson’s life was forever changed after a distracted driver of a fully-loaded cement truck hit his car. This car accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, and changed any plans he had for the future. However, in the midst of this unexpected tragedy comes hope and the fulfillment of lifelong dreams. Join our conversation with Tyson Dever and his co-author, Sarah Paulk, as we talk about tragedy, recovery, motivation, and the will to thrive. If you have experienced an injury or traumatic event, or are walking through life with a teen who has a similar experience, this is the podcast for you! We invite you to join our conversation with Tyson Dever.
Summer is officially here, and I did not want to miss the opportunity to share the ways your support, donations, and encouragement have impacted the 1,204 students who participated in Teen Life Support Groups this school year. Each week, I get to see the impact these groups make. These teenagers are more than numbers, campuses and school districts to me. I get to sit in their circles, hear their stories, and talk about their futures. I get this perspective most weeks of the school year, but I know that most of you are not Teen Life Facilitators. You are in your own trenches – in your homes, classrooms, and churches. You are doing hard work, but you don’t always get to participate in the intentional conversations that a Teen Life Support Group can encourage.