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There has been a lot of hype and discussion about the Netflix series “Thirteen Reasons Why”. I had to watch it to see what it was all about, to be able to discuss it with client and so I was not the only person on the planet who has not viewed it. My purpose for this blog is not to critique the series, there are movie critics who do that for a living, but to discuss how to manage the series from a psychological, social, emotional and paren-tal perspective. The main thing that I will say personally is I chose not to view very much of the scene with Hanna at the end, or with her mother’s discovery. I muted the sound and only watched a second or two of it all. I know from having a specialty in treat-ing Post-traumatic stress disorder you can’t un-do what you see or hear so easily if it affects you. So, for myself I know I made the right decision, and then as I thought about it, I wondered how younger folks or someone with no knowledge of how trauma affects a person, could process it all. So, I hope some tips on this important subject may help.

 

  1. Don’t let kids watch it alone
  2. Consider the age and maturity of your child before they watch it, even with you.
  3. Keep open communication, allow for kids to vent feelings.
  4. Seek professional help if you or your child is feeling suicidal
  5. Beware of the message that there is always someone to blame for a suicide
  6. Discuss the topic of suicide openly
  7. Do discuss with you child, what to do if your child witnesses bullying, assault or sexual assault
  8. Be prepared, the rape scenes are difficult to view, be prepared to discuss them
  9. If you see something, or think something is off, say something, talk to your kids
  10. The school counselor is portrayed in a poor light, discuss with your kids who they can talk to if talking to one adult does not work
  11. Consider the different ways kids get bullied and how it impacts them
  12. Know how the environment impacts your mood, seek healthy ways to cope
  13. Remember there are times we are all not happy or ok, we may look fine but not be fine, try and consider who you interact with during your day may be suffering and have an open, non-judgmental attitude.

So, in conclusion, keep an open mind and open communication and attitude with your kids, loved ones and friends on this subject, Rumor has it this series was not the conclusion, but more to come next season. Be kind to others as you do not know what they are going through, and be kind to yourself, this is challenging stuff. Here are a few re-sources, but please remember suicidal talk, gestures or thoughts should always be evaluated by a professional. Helping someone get to the help they need is an awe-some, yet often challenging thing to do.

 

  • Lake County Crisis and Suicide Intervention Hotline, (24/7 service) 440-953-8255
  • Victim Assistance Program, Care and Advocacy to victims of crime 440-350-2691 (24/7) 440-953-5823
  • National Alliance of the Mentally ILL 800-950-6264
  • United Way Information Call: 211

CATHRYN E. KNEZEVICH, M.ED., LPCC
DBT IOP DIRECTOR

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The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.