You Are Important! And Here's 13 Reasons Why...
So, the new series of 13 reasons why has been released, and this controversial series has drawn a lot of attention for its depiction of teenage suicide. We thought we would give you a list of 13 reasons why we think young people like you are awesome, and why we want you to stick around with us and live the life you deserve.
headspace shares the concerns expressed by other youth mental health services about the potential risk the series poses to the well-being of young people. As many young people are currently watching the series, it is important that teachers and parents are aware of the risks associated with the content, and are prepared to discuss these with young people who have been exposed to it in a way that:
- avoids normalising or glamorising suicide
- supports young people to manage their emotional responses to the show
- empowers young people to seek appropriate information and support for their difficulties, where necessary.
13 REASONS WHY.INFO
This time around, the makers of the show have collaborated more closely with mental health services to make sure young people are safe whilst they watch the show, and as a result they have created a webpage 13reasonswhy.info where lots of useful help seeking resources will live. On this webpage You will find;
- Videos - One will feature the cast of the show (coming out of character) to address issues depicted in the show, and the other features Australian young people talking about the importance of reaching out to family and friends and seeking help on mental health issues.
- Resources – Tailored discussion guides for young people, parents and schools
- Help seeking information - Detailed help seeking information for young people.
If you are reading this and sometimes feel like you really don't matter, then please read on, maybe the list below will help you realise how much that isn't actually the case
13 REASONS WHY YOU MATTER
1 - YOU ARE AT THE CENTRE OF SOMETHING
Everyone, even if they don't have many connections, is at the centre of a network. You are cared for in ways that you might not even realise, by family, friends, teachers and colleagues. You might feel like an outsider, but headspace can show you how it's just a matter of perspective. We can help you make things better for the world, starting with yourself.
2 - YOU ARE POTENTIAL
Have you ever heard someone say, 'they have such potential’? No-one can touch potential, it’s not a physical, 'thing' but that doesn't mean it isn't realer than real. When people are feeling very low, often they think that they have no potential, that they will never amount to anything. Maybe somebody like a teacher, parent or bully has made you feel this way. But they don't really know do they? Maybe they are just passing on their hurt to you - because people who are hurting inside, often make other people hurt too, just so they don't feel so alone in their pain. Some of the most amazing things have been achieved by people who realised their potential after overcoming thoughts of suicide.
'Sometimes it is the people no-one imagines anything of who do the things that no-one else can imagine'
You are pure potential - headspace can help you realise your potential. Never, ever give up on yourself.
3 - YOU ARE A LIGHTHOUSE - EVEN IF YOU DON'T KNOW IT
Sometimes other people are like boats at sea, struggling through a storm trying to find the safety of a harbour. Being a 'light house' means being a guiding light for other people when they are struggling. It doesn't have to be a big thing, sometimes smiling at someone who is sad or saying a kind word to a friend can be enough to pull them out of the darkness. If a young person takes their own life, then they deprive the world of their helping light. We are all in this together, and even if you don't think you are of any help to anyone, that will not be the case in the future. You are a lighthouse - we want you to keep shining!
4 - YOUR ARE NOT HELPLESS
Often when people feel very low they think that nobody can help them, and the world would be better off without them. They come to think of themselves as a burden on everyone. That is not true, there is more help available than you perhaps know. If you need immediate assistance, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Help Line on 1800 55 18 00 or 000 if it is an emergency.
5 - YOUR ARE NOT HOPELESS
"Fear can hold you prisoner, but hope can set you free'. Often when people think of taking their own life, it is because they believe there is no hope. But There is a magic (but often unrecognised) quality of hope:
'it is not out there in the world, it is INSIDE you'.
Hope for a better future is like the clear blue sky. Hopelessness is like clouds, sometimes it is so unbelievably cloudy it feels like the blue sky has disappeared. But if you get in a plane and fly up through the clouds, there is the clear blue sky, unchanged. It hasn't disappeared, it was just hidden from your view by dark clouds. The hope for a better future is deep inside you, we can help you find it.
6 - YOU ARE NOT WORTHLESS
Do you have an inner critic? The voice inside your hea that tells you that you aren't good enough, that you are worthless? If you do, you are not alone - It's super common. Maybe that voice was put there by someone else - a family member, a bully a teacher, a coach? Maybe it comes from looking at social media and seeing all these picture-perfect people with their picture-perfect lives. (p.s no-one's real life is as amazing as their social media life, everybody knows this deep down).Your inner critic might love to compare you with people on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook.
Sometimes people will say :
' I am nothing - I'm just a piece of dirt'
and technically that is true. Your science teacher will tell you that we are all made of the same stuff that makes up the rest of the universe.
But that is just one side of it. If you are made of the same stuff that makes up the dirt, you are also made of the same stuff that makes up the stars.
Your brain is the most complex thing in the known universe. You are amazing. You are made of stars. Treat yourself like you are.
7 - YOUR DIFFERENCE IS NEEDED
Sometimes people come to headspace after they have watched shows like 13 Reasons Why, and say something like,
'I'm weird - I don't fit in and I never will'
Your difference is what makes you unique. Sure, at times we all have to fit in, otherwise the world would be total chaos, but can you imagine if everybody looked the same, talked the same, loved the same way, did the same things, thought the same way - can you imagine how boring that would be? If you take your own life we will never get to see all the weird and wonderful and helpful and beautiful things you are yet to become. Be curious about that, move forward fearlessly into your own weirdness, we love it!!
8 - YOUR ABILITY TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE IS IMPORTANT
If you don't know who Rosa Parks is, look her up. She stood up on a bus and changed the world. She could not have known what a massive and positive impact her little act of bravery would cause in the world. Why not you? who knows what an amazing force for good in the world you could be over you long lifetime? Don't let anyone tell you that you are good for nothing, because lots of little acts of kindness and bravery are what make the world a better place. You don’t have to do big things to make a big impact. You matter more than you know.
9 - THERE IS JOY OUT THERE THAT HAS YOUR NAME WRITTEN ON IT.
If you had a magic wand, and you could do anything you wanted (that you have never done before) what would you wish for? Maybe you want to travel the world, maybe you want to swim with Dolphins, maybe you want to skydive or maybe you want to fall head over heels in love? Nobody knows the future, but the only way to find out what awesome things are on the cards for you is to live it out, and see what happens. When we are low our mind can play tricks on us, where we can become convinced that we will never ever experience any joy ever again. But that is all it is, a nasty trick that your mind can play on you. Life is broken and messy, but can also be beautiful, and there is so much joy out there that is yours for the taking, you just have to commit to finding it.
A Tyrion Lannister says,
"Death is so terribly final, whereas life is so full of possibilities"
10 - YOUR CURRENT PAIN CAN HELP OTHERS
Your current pain will pass, and you can use it to help others who are struggling - but only if you stick around.
11 - YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
This can be a hard one for people to accept, because it comes from a place of love - the type of self-love that can be hard to find when you are feeling very low. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and unless you have met every single person on earth then you can't say 'everyone thinks I'm ugly'
Plus, being attractive is more to do with your personality and kindness than your looks, beauty is only skin deep!
12 - YOU ARE LIMITED EDITION
There will never be another person like you. If you went into a shop and tried to buy something, and as you were holding it the store owner said to you,
'That is the only one of those there has ever been in the world, and they aren't making any more of them'
Wouldn't you hold it cautiously, wouldn't you treat it with care?
You are 'Limited Edition' and therefore you are precious to us all.
13 - WE CARE ABOUT YOU. WE DESPERATELY WANT YOU TO STICK AROUND
There are people across Australia, who work at organisations like headspace, who have never met you, but care for you. So even if you are convinced that nobody in your life cares for you, then that's not true. There is an army of people across Australia who want you to stick around. We care about you. I care about you. You are never, ever truly alone. Don't you ever forget that.
If you or someone you know is struggling, visit headspace.org.au to find your nearest centre or call eheadspace on 1800 650 890. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Help Line on 1800 55 18 00 or 000 if it is an emergency.
Special thanks to headspace Osborne Park for sharing this article with headspace Murray Bridge.