This “13 Reasons Why” star thinks the show should be part of school curriculum
The hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has been receiving both praise and raised eyebrows from several different camps, since its subject matter is something many consider taboo. But one 13 Reasons Why star thinks the show should be part of school curriculum. We’re referring to Kate Walsh, who talked to The Huffington Post about how the show positively influences the lives of teens.
Walsh plays main character Hannah Baker’s mother in the series. We watch Walsh’s character try to live her day-to-day life after discovering her daughter had committed suicide. And following her time in this heartbreaking role, Walsh believes that 13 Reasons Why could prevent her fictional character’s life from becoming reality for parents of teens.
Walsh told Huffington Post that she’s aware of the people who have been reacting poorly to watching Hannah commit suicide onscreen. But she rebuts the negative reaction by noting that it’s the “secrecy” and “peacefulness” of suicide that might be causing some teens to think that it’s a viable option for them. Walsh said,
"I think there’s a lot of this idea in the mystery and the shame and the secrecy of suicide that no one talks about, that you can project this idea that it’s all going to be peaceful and blissed-out ... [but] to really deal with depression and mental illness and these huge issues and show what it really looks like if someone tries to take their life ― it’s ugly and it’s really hard and it should be seen."
Walsh continued to press that if 13 Reasons Why was shown to teens in school, the discussion about suicide, sexual assault, and mental illness would be opened up.
"Parents and teachers and students [should] watch this and have conversations about sexual assault, about bullying, about LGBTQ issues, race issues, gender issues, suicide, depression and mental health, because largely in our country as we see now, it’s still in the shroud of shame or silence," Walsh said. "So to really see it for what it is and talk about it and get people help, [we can] prevent it."
Walsh concludes with sharing her desire for sociably uncomfortable topics to be talked about with young people so they know that they can reach out for help. You can watch her full interview on Huffington Post’s “Build Series” here.
Perhaps the more accustomed we are to seeing hard-to-watch subject matter onscreen, the more we’ll see others expressing their need for help without fear of judgement.