Local Beauty Queen Who Lost Mother To Suicide Reflects On Netflix Series

The show "13 Reasons Why" is receiving both positive and negative reviews of how it's portraying a high schooler committing suicide

A popular Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why”, is touching on a subject that many find difficult to talk about.

The show is receiving both positive and negative reviews of how it’s portraying a high school girl committing suicide.

“At the age of 5 I lost my mom to suicide,” said Siam Simpfenderfer, Miss North Dakota International.

Siam Simpfenderfer’s story doesn’t include actors or scripts.

“I’m going to take my life experience and hopefully share it and hopefully become collateral beauty instead of collateral damage for such a horrific event,” Simpfenderfer said.

The current Miss North Dakota International uses her platform to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

She calls it, “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay.”

“I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and thank me for sharing my story because suicide is nothing that we normally talk about, it’s not a comfortable conversation,” shared Simpfenderfer.

A new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” is the talk of social media.

The show follows the aftermath of a girl who took her own life.

A recent article said that the show glamorizes a tragedy.

The article’s author writes “We become captivated by the drama of the suicide rather than the actual suicide itself.”

“However hard it is, you have to reach out. Even if it’s just to one person,” said Megan Spencer, a licensed psychologist with Essentia health.

One thing Simpfenderfer says the show is doing right, is getting the conversation out there.

“Everything they talk about is so brutally honest, it makes you uncomfortable. But being uncomfortable really draws your attention to it to know that we have to talk about it,” said Simpfenderfer.

Essentia Health Psychologist Megan Spencer said many people find talking about suicide is not an easy conversation.

“Even though we are in 2017, I think there is still that stigma, it’s definitely getting better which is positive, but it’s still very vulnerable,” said the psychologist.

Spencer said while many shows and movies get things right, viewers must understand that in real life the signs of someone struggling looks different for everybody.

“It’s getting out of our typical mindset of what depression looks like and really understanding it from a whole perspective,” said Spender.

Although it’s not the easiest, the psychologist said just asking questions and being there makes a difference.

“Come up with a plan, if you start feeling this way, here it what you’re going to do, and that can help, here are some numbers you can call, here is a person you can reach out to,” said Spencer.

If you or someone you know is looking for someone to talk to, you can click here.




Categories: Community, Health, Local News, North Dakota News