13 Ways to Talk About 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why is everywhere, and I am still seeing people argue with school boards, mental health associations and suicide awareness centres over whether or not the show is *good*. No one claims it is not a good television series. It is also, however, socially irresponsible.

So, let’s stop arguing and find a way to help kids/people think critically about bullying and suicide. I humbly offer my suggestions below, and hope they give you somewhere to start.

  1. Do you think that all of the negative things that happened to Hannah made her death inevitable?
  2. We learn more than one side to Hannah’s stories, but we accept hers as the truth. Why do think that is?
  3. Does watching Hannah kill herself make you more likely to accept suicide as the only solution to her problems? Why or why not?
  4. What were the warning signs or behaviour that could have given Hannah’s friends a clue as to her intentions? What would you do if you saw those signs in someone else?
  5. We all want to get back at people who hurt us. Is Hannah’s death, and the tapes naming her bullies and their crimes, motivated by revenge? Talk about how it might be – and how it might not be.
  6. We learned that Hannah felt empty and unable to feel emotions, two symptoms of depression. Do you think Hannah was suffering from a mental illness? Why/why not?
  7. Why do you think it took Hannah so long to try and get help?
  8. Which parts of the series do you think were the most accurate? The least accurate?
  9. Can you relate to any/all of Hannah’s experiences? Explain.
  10. Was Hannah blaming her death on other people? Provide evidence for and against.
  11. Where could someone in Hannah’s position could look for help?
  12. How could Hannah’s story have ended another way?
  13. If you were Hannah, how would your story end?

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