Coming Sunday: Teens, experts sound off on ’13 Reasons Why’ | Local News

Coming Sunday: Teens, experts sound off on ’13 Reasons Why’ | Local News |

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Leah Ropp, 15, a Normal West sophomore, Colleen O’Connor of Project Oz and NAMI Livingston/McLean Counties, and Sondra Simmons, Normal West health teacher, listen to thoughts being shared on teen suicide during a Sept. 6 panel on “13 Reasons Why” and the Ending the Silence program.


When Leah Ropp began watching the television series “13 Reasons Why” recently, she quickly discovered why it’s popular among teens and pre-teens more than five months after all 13 episodes were released on Netflix.

She, like other teens, have been drawn to the controversial series — expected to start a new season in 2018 — because the subject matter, teen suicide, is something they know is “out there” and which needs to be more openly discussed.

Mental health professionals and advocates who live with mental illness agree and acknowledge the series — and teen suicide in general — remains a hot-button topic among pre-teens, teens and young adults.

Look for our two-day series on what teens and other young people, school counselors, and mental health experts and advocates think of the series, its message, and the need for today’s teens to seek help when they have suicidal thoughts. 

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