making sense

I finished watching a
beautifully tragic series on Netflix…

13 Reasons Why

as a mental health professional
and one who is trained in suicide prevention
this hit particularly close to home

let’s remember that this is a fictional depiction
of Hannah Baker’s life…and ultimate death

there are things that the show gets “right”
from a mental health stance,
but there are also points where it misses the point
– at least from my perspective

truth is, this show is widely popular
and people are talking about it
so, let’s have free and open discussion about

starting and perpetuating rumors
slander
accusation
shaming
bullying
objectification
dehumanization
substance abuse
rejection
humiliation
revenge
vulnerability
rape
sexual assault
abandonment
loneliness
love
violence – both sexual and physical
blame
suicide

as an aside…look at Mark 7:20-23
listed are 13 things in our hearts that lead to corruption (dishonesty, unethical behavior, being amoral and unprincipled)

evil thoughts, immoral sex, theft, murder, adultery, greed (insatiable longing), wicked acts (evil or morally wrong), treachery (betrayal of trust; deceptive action), sensuality (pursuit of physical pleasure), jealousy (envy, being suspicious), slander (false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation), pride (deep pleasure derived from one’s own achievements), and foolishness (lack of good sense of judgement)

these eerily mirror the 13 reasons given in the series..

and let’s also have free and open discussion about

truth
hope
love
resilience
friendship
acceptance
respect
accountability
personal responsibility
depression
anxiety
substance abuse
availability of good mental health services
unbelief
having questions
strength
weakness
listening
empathy
support

and let’s be honest
even brutally honest
with ourselves

if we just sit back and talk about this story
and don’t offer hope
what good does it do?

according 2015 statistics
5491 people aged 15-24 die
by suicide every year
at a rate of 1 suicide every 2 hours – QPR Institute

one
suicide
every
2
hours

for every 1 of those documented deaths
there are 8 attempts
so…40,000 suicides
translates into 1,000,000 attempts annually – QPR Institute

so what can we do?
are we just helpless in this fight?

no.
we.are.not.

we offer hope

we see the obstacles and we look past them to possibility.

we get involved
we build relationships

we ask folks if they have ever thought
or are thinking
about killing themselves

we
ask
them.

we help them get help

we don’t take on this responsibility ourselves…
if we are not trained counselors, we don’t try to be

folks
want
to
be
heard

and so,

we listen…
without judgment
without an answer
without a response
we listen…
to understand.

we listen.

and we process our own
reactions
thoughts
perceptions
ideas
with a trained professional.

how do we make sense of it?
we don’t.
there is no sense to be made.

how do you make sense of
hopelessness
and loneliness
and despair?

you educate yourself
you get trained to
recognize warning signs and clues
you get involved
open dialogue
education

eyes
wide
open

personal responsibility
in how you treat your fellow human being
be careful how we respond to tragedy of any sort

personal disclaimer:  I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason.

that statement will not be popular with most folks…

“Sometimes bad things happen for no reason other than we are human beings having a human experience. Pain, heartache, grief, loss, disease and death are inevitable parts of the human experience.” – Christine Suhan

the human experience
did not originally include pain

our current human condition experiences
pain and suffering

let’s walk beside those who are suffering
let’s care about them
let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus…

“You matter to me.”

“I’m glad you’re in my world.” – Beyond the Reasons

“It has to get better.” – Clay Jensen, 13 Reasons Why

let’s be part of that revolution.
and let’s be honest about
the mystery of grace…it really doesn’t make sense

 

for more information: https://www.save.org/13-reasons-why/
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-237-8255
Crisis Text Line:  text HELP to 741741

 

 

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