A Response to “13 Reasons Why”

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There is a popular series on Netflix titled, “13 Reasons” which, deals with the topic of teen suicide. In the series the lead character, Hannah Baker, records 13 cassette tapes of herself citing 13 reasons why she decides to take her own life. The series deals with the troublesome dynamics of teen culture, such as sexual abuse, bullying, and drug and alcohol abuse. I think many teens and parents are aware of this series, given its popularity.

Dr. Phillip Mamalakis, a member of the Faculty of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, recently wrote an extensive paper in response to “13 Reasons Why”. Dr. Mamalakis received his M.Div. from Holy Cross Seminary and his Ph.D. from Purdue University in the field of Family Life. I have included a link to the paper in this note:  “13 Reasons – Why We Must Engage with our Teens”

It is about 15 pages but it is worth reading. If you are pressed for time, read a couple of pages per day. In his response, Dr. Mamalakis acknowledges the seriousness of the teen cultural dynamics that contribute to suicide. Yet he is also critical of the series for not offering a way forward for teens who are dealing with thoughts of suicide. In his paper he seeks to provide that.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. The blessing of the Lord be upon you.




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