The latest Netflix curated show to hit the streaming network is a bit unconventional. It’s not a light ‘dramedy’ like Orange Is The New Black, it’s not a documentary, or even much of a show at all. It’s titled 13 Reasons Why, and it’s a fictional tale about a young high school girl, Hannah Baker, taking her own life. 13 Reasons Why is an important commentary on bullying and harassment, but also on the exclusion and loneliness many teens experience and will continue to face.
13 Reasons Why should be important to the pro-life movement. You may ask why, because Hannah Baker isn’t a fetus. Hannah Baker’s character is a young woman in high school. However, the pro-life movement shouldn’t just be about abortion. All life is worth something, and we, as a movement, need to address an elephant in the room: teen suicide rates.
Pro-life should include all life, born and unborn. Black lives matter, native lives matter, white lives matter, LGBTQIA lives matter, even pink with yellow stripes lives matter. And that is why we need to take steps to assure that our movement, a movement in which the core belief is the sanctity of life, includes not just fetuses. But how do we start becoming more inclusive? It begins with you.
Volunteer with the Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is an American non-profit focused on suicide prevention efforts of LGBTQIA+ youth. From resources such as their textline to events, the Trevor Project shares a great message. The rate for LGBTQ teen suicide is on average 4 times higher than straight teens. Volunteer information is available here.
Know the Signs
If you know the signs of suicidal thoughts or ideation, you could potentially save someone’s life. According to the Mayo Clinic, these signs include, but are not limited to, talking about suicide, withdrawing from social content, preoccupation with death, increasing use of drugs or alcohol, and self-destructive behaviors. You can read more of the signs here, but if you see any friends of yours displaying these signs, share this information with a school official or a parent, as soon as possible.
Encourage Your Current or Former School To Bring In Anti-Bully Advocates
Resources such as BullySafeUSA and PACER can make an incredible difference in school bullying culture. By encouraging our public schools to bring in outside, expert sources, school age children and teens can see the true severity of bullying on families and fellow teens.
Raise Money for Suicide Prevention
In addition to donations, there are numerous opportunities to raise money for organizations that maintain hotlines or services. For example, you can volunteer to walk and fund money or even volunteer your services or goods, like water bottles, to these organizations. Every cent, minute, and donation helps.
Remind People of Their Worth, Tell Them That You Care About Them
Take two minutes out of your day to tell your friends and peers that you care about them. It can make all the difference in someone’s day and takes hardly any time at all. Sometimes a smile in the hallway or a seat in the cafeteria speaks the loudest.
Suicide is not a topic to take lightly. If you or someone you know is suicidal, there is help and there are answers. Speak to a school official, parent, or if it is an emergency, contact the police. This post is intended to share ways to prevent suicide, become more involved in suicide prevention, and preserve all life, and isn’t intended to be professional advice of any sort. But remember, actions speak louder than words.