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Michigan High School Students Offer ’13 Reasons Why Not’ To Help Fellow Students Deal With Depression

The hit Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’, based on a novel by Jay Asher, has generated tons of controversy for its take on suicide and self harm.

Rather than be offended, some high school students in Oxford offered solutions, and it appears to have helped several students deal with their depression.

Every morning at Oxford High School in Michigan, students gather in their classrooms for the morning announcements.

Instead of the usual droning on, they have been hearing one of “13 Reason Why Not.”

A group of students has decided to take on suicide and depression by giving their classmates hope. Dean of students Pamela Fine thought up the idea, and the students ran with it. “There is never one reason why, there are not 13 reasons,” Fine told the Oakland Press, “there are not one million reasons why. So we started focusing on the ‘why nots.’”

One reason the kids jumped on board is they felt the controversial show “13 Reasons Why” is not showing the options for students battling depression or suicidal thoughts, just an out.

The best part is, the program is working. Within days of the first broadcast, numerous students have opened up to counselors and peers, and even volunteered to share their own stories.

Oxford knows full well the impact of student suicide. Meghan Abbott battled with depression and ended her own life in 2013. Her parents told the students that Meghan could have been saved by the project, had their been an open discussion of issues surrounding depression when she was in school.

Suicide is the number two cause of death among young adults age 10-24.

The program is getting national attention as both NBC’s Today Show and ABC-TV doing stories on the success of the program, as well as the national teen site, PopSugar. 

“Our goal going in would be to start conversations with our kids to prevent suicide, to build relationships, to empower our students and also to reframe the negative message they are getting,” Fine said in the Oakland Press. “There is no reason why.” The project ends on May 18.

For those that need help, it’s just a phone call away with the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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