La Crosse YMCA hosts ’13 Reasons Why You Matter’ discussion

A community event is emphasizing the importance of asking for help when it comes to mental health and recognizing when someone is asking you for it.

The La Crosse Family YMCA hosted ’13 Reasons Why You Matter’ at the Main Branch of the La Crosse Public Library Monday night.

The event is inspired by the Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’ which addresses teen suicide.

Some mental health professionals have concerns over how the show portrays suicide and what happens when someone asks for help.

That’s why they wanted to hold the event, to stress the importance of being persistent in letting someone know when you aren’t okay and how parents can recognize those signs in their kids.

“They may not know how to ask that question, and sometimes adults may think it’s just a ‘teen thing’ and it may not be as serious as what they’re thinking, so when I talk with teens, I coach them to keep asking for help, and if you feel like somebody hasn’t heard you, ask somebody else,” said the La Crosse YMCA Mental Health Director Sarah Johnson.

Organizers say having open conversations about mental health can help remove the stigma of mental illness and help others feel comfortable talking about their experiences.