The article discusses suicide in graphic terms. If it triggers anything for you, please call BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 for 24/7 counselling, or Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you are in crisis.
“I’ve been reading quite a few posts by suicide-prevention advocates and other individuals expressing concern, or even outrage, at the show’s decision to depict its protagonist’s suicide on-screen,” he wrote. “In other words, they thought it would be better to leave her character’s death to the imagination.
This response was actually quite surprising to me.“From the very beginning, I agreed that we should depict the suicide with as much detail and accuracy as possible. I even argued for it – relating the story of my own suicide attempt to the other writers.“So when it came time to discuss the portrayal of the protagonist’s suicide in 13 Reasons Why, I of course immediately flashed on my own experience. It seemed to me the perfect opportunity to show what an actual suicide really looks like – to dispel the myth of the quiet drifting off, and to make viewers face the reality of what happens when you jump from a burning building into something much, much worse.”
“It overwhelmingly seems to me that the most irresponsible thing we could’ve done would have been not to show the death at all. In AA, they call it playing the tape: encouraging alcoholics to really think through in detail the exact sequence of events that will occur after relapse. It’s the same thing with suicide.“To play the tape through is to see the ultimate reality that suicide is not a relief at all – it’s a screaming, agonizing, horror.”