A Message from the Superintendent on 13 Reasons Why
Dear Canby Community:
There is increasing concern from health professionals and counselors about a popular Netflix series called 13 Reasons Why. While it's possible you've never heard of the drama, it's highly likely that your student has heard about it or may have read the book. The series is centered on a 17-year-old girl who commits suicide. While many students may be capable of differentiating between a TV drama and real life, it's important to engage in thoughtful conversations with your child about the show. A number of organizations focused on counseling youths have provided some really helpful guidance.
Here are some key suggestions:
1.Ask your child if they've heard of or seen the series 13 Reasons Why. Discuss their thoughts about the series if they've seen it. If they haven't, let them know it shouldn't be watched without adult guidance and support. Express how the series is fictionalized, sensationalized, and does not accurately portray the kinds of supports in place for mental illness/suicide prevention.
2.If your child exhibits any suicidal warning signs, don't be afraid to ask if they've thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.
3.Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs.
4.Listen to your child's comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.
5.Get help from a school-employed or community based mental health professional if you're concerned for your child's safety, or the safety of one of their peers.
This is an opportunity to have a dialogue with young adults, and to provide context and understanding regarding a sensitive topic. You can read some additional information about 13 Reasons Why and how to talk with your children about the series on the attached flyer.
I appreciate you taking the time to consider this important message. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your school counselor for resources or support.
Superintendent, Canby SD
Canby High School
Trevor Lockwood, LCSW
Mental Health/Drug & Alcohol Intervention Specialist
School Counselor (A-G)
School Counselor (H-O)
School Counselor (P-Z)
Baker Prairie Middle School
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Text "START" to 741741
Clackamas County Crisis Line
Centerstone – Urgent Mental Health Crisis Care
Lines for Life