2019 06 06: Mental Health

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Tyler was sitting sideways in a chair perpendicular to the part of a round table with four other people on it, making him face almost 180 degrees away from the table, his left arm resting on the back of the table. He snapped into reality.

He was in his health class. Which, in the open and experimental theme of his school, encompassed physical, sexual, and mental health. "Has anyone here seen 13 Reasons Why?" Ms. Mannich asked the class.

About two thirds of the class' hands went up, including Tyler's.

"Many people have criticized it for its somewhat inaccurate portrayal, and others have praised the show for its upfront take on the issue." She paused. "...I was wondering... what, after today's lesson, you guys think."

Everyone was a tiny bit confused. "...Think about what?" Tyler asked.

"The- The show." She clarified, "Do you guys like the show is helping, or not?"

Everyone looked around to see who would go first to avoid an awkward moment of talking over someone else. "...I think that the show is good because it is looking more into detail on a subject widely ignored" Johnathan said, sitting at a table across the room, turned the same way so that they were almost facing each other.

"I think that the show has issues in its portrayal, like, it's too out-front in a way that it ends up essentially making a stereotype, but it is useful in that sense at portrayal." David said.

Ms. Mannich listened carefully.

"I love it." Hannah said, "It has a sort of honesty that doesn't exist in other media in the same subject. It seems out-front and bold."

Everyone was quiet, waiting for the next person.

"I absolutely hate it." Tyler started, in a very mildly loud way. "I don't hate it because of its seemingly one-sided story, or its bland and Hollywood-friendly characters, or even its excessive language - all of that is necessary and maybe even good. The complete reason why I absolutely fucking hate this show-" "Language!" Ms. Mannich shouted. "...is because it shows Hannah after she's dead. And I don't have a problem with this because its inaccurate - people are... completely able to counteract that if they understand it. But the problem is, people don't understand it. Kids think that, if they kill themselves, not only would they terrorize the people around them, which they would, but they will always be around them; that they won't be actually dead; because that's what the show depicts.

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