- 13 Reasons Why is a fictional story based on a widely known novel and is meant to be a cautionary tale.
- You may have similar experiences and thoughts as some of the characters in 13RW. People often identify
with characters they see on TV or in movies. However, it is important to remember that there are healthy
ways to cope with the topics covered in 13RW and acting on suicidal thoughts is not one of them.
- If you have watched the show and feel like you need support or someone to talk to, reach out. Talk with a
friend, family member, a counselor, or therapist. There is always someone who will listen.
- Suicide is not a common response to life’s challenges or adversity. The vast majority of people who
experience bullying, the death of a friend, or any other adversity described in 13RW do not die by suicide.
In fact, most reach out, talk to others and seek help or find other productive ways of coping. They go on to
lead healthy, normal lives.
- Suicide is never a heroic or romantic act. Hannah’s suicide (although fictional) is a cautionary tale, not
meant to appear heroic and should be viewed as a tragedy.
- It is important to know that, in spite of the portrayal of a serious treatment failure in 13RW, there are many
treatment options for life challenges, distress and mental illness. Treatment works.
- Suicide affects everyone and everyone can do something to help if they see or hear warning signs that
someone is at risk of suicide.
- Talking openly and honestly about emotional distress and suicide is ok. It will not make someone more
suicidal or put the idea of suicide in their mind. If you are concerned about someone, ask them about it.
- Knowing how to acknowledge and respond to someone who shares their thoughts of emotional distress or
suicide with you is important. Don’t judge them or their thoughts. Listen. Be caring and kind. Offer to stay
with them. Offer to go with them to get help or to contact a crisis line.
- How the guidance counselor in 13RW responds to Hannah’s thoughts of suicide is not appropriate and not
typical of most counselors. School counselors are professionals and a trustworthy source for help. If your
experience with a school counselor is unhelpful, seek other sources of support such as a crisis line.
- While not everyone will know what to say or have a helpful reaction, there are people who do, so keep
trying to find someone who will help you. If someone tells you they are suicidal, take them seriously and
- When you die you do not get to make a movie or talk to people any more. Leaving messages from beyond
the grave is a dramatization produced in Hollywood and is not possible in real life.
- Memorializing someone who died by suicide is not a recommended practice. Decorating someone’s locker
who died by suicide and/or taking selfies in front of such a memorial is not appropriate and does not honor
the life of the person who died by suicide.
- Hannah’s tapes blame others for her suicide. Suicide is never the fault of survivors of suicide loss. There
are resources and support groups for suicide loss survivors.
If you, or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call Crisis Services 24/7
Or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
For more information or for local assistance, go to the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Erie County’s website