Last year, a controversial Netflix series, "13 Reasons Why," gripped the hearts and grabbed the attention of Americans and mental health experts across the nation. Teenagers in particular were swept away by the story of Hannah Baker, a fictional character who took her own life, leaving behind 13 tapes explaining why she did it.
Some mental health advocates argue that the show romanticizes suicide, and encourages copycats. Others believe the show brings awareness to bullying, mental health, and the reality of suicide.
However, no matter what side of the spectrum you fall on, the show definitely got people talking about suicide.
While it's hard to pinpoint an exact number of suicides directly linked to the show, experts have found found a 19% increase in suicide related internet searches.
With the second season of the show airing May 18th, the nature of the show is on people's radar once again.
Although Tammy Reese has never seen the show, she does understand the reality those left behind by a loved one that chose take their own life face daily.
"I always wondered what I could've done to prevent it, is there something else I could have done? Were there signs I should have seen?" Reese recounted.
30 years ago, Reese experienced the tragic loss of suicide when her boyfriend chose to end his own life, something she still carries with her today.
She says it's something she's had to learn was out of her hands. Reese says, had he not hid his pain and asked for help, maybe she could've done more. Unfortunately, he kept it to himself, something so many others do every day.
Reese wants others that have lost a loved one to suicide to know that it's not your fault, and you should never blame yourself. She explained that when people are suicidal, they can't see past their current pain, all you can do is be there for them and comfort them.
"It's not worth it, you leave behind so many people who love you, you may not see that in the moment, but you're leaving all of these people wondering why and what they could of done to help you had you given them the opportunity," says Reese.
Reese says, if someone mentions to you that they are thinking about committing suicide, then they will probably act on it. However, there are things you can do to help. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide,there are so many resources available to you.
GET HELP | Crisis Center of Southeast Texas
If you, or anyone you know, is thinking about harming themselves or taking their own life call the Crisis Center of Southeast Texas' local hotline at 800-793-2273