By Ivana Janevska
Girl on the Edge is a film that follows Hannah, the main character, from days spent “on the edge” through holistic treatment for addiction. But this is not only a show-and-tell film, as it also raises many other questions and general concerns. More here on why we like this film and how you can view it. Then, we invite your comments or feedback at the end.
Walking on the Edge
Firstly, I believe this film does a great job in explaining how both sides feel about teen substance disorders, date rape, and cyberbullying. It can help families in real life realize that they are not alone.
As the story evolves, Hannah’s parents are glowingly concerned about her when they find a bag of pills in her room and also when they uncover naked photos of her on the internet. From this point on, the story continues by showing both perspectives, Hannah’s and the one of her father and step-mother. Hannah’s parents are the typical, concerned grown-ups who deeply love their daughter, while she is a good kid that carries the burden of her past precedent that only seems to be growing as she shuts everyone out.
To the rescue: Family intervention as a tool
Family intervention is one of the methods that help many people realize that they need professional help in dealing with life’s challenges. All members of Hannah’s family get together and stage an intervention, and although not too happy about it, she decides to get help. Just like in real life.
The Holistic Treatment Program
After agreeing to get help, the main character is taken to a holistic residential treatment center for teenage girls. This is a beautiful and remote place, with a horse ranch, gardens, and no internet access. This part of the film can help viewers to better understand the steps of recovery as they follow Hannah’s slips and progress. In fact, the holistic program helps the main character remedy her entire being as she heals and gets emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically stronger. Actually, a good recovery program needs to offer exactly those services, regardless of whether medications are necessary or not.
This film can help parents understand what they should be looking for when choosing a recovery program for their teenagers. More specifically, this is what the recovery process looks like in the film:
- she’s put in a calm and safe environment
- professionals use various natural healing techniques to help Hannah
- she’s helped to identify and understand the triggers for her behavior
- she is taught to let go of the burden and the shame she carries
- she learns how to cope with issues and embraces new and positive behaviors
- she is helped to realize she’s strong enough to be on her own feet
- she develops many friendships and becomes open and loving again
Important questions “Girl on the Edge” raises
1. Are our kids protected from sexual predators on the internet?
Mobile applications and dating sites seem harmless and innocent. However, the perks of modern technology can be abused while our children are exposing themselves to dangers they may not comprehend. One thing is certain, parents have to prepare their children for internet privacy protection and discretion. More importantly, companies may not be legally responsible for who uses and how they use their products, but they have a moral responsibility to protect potential users.
2. Is cyberbullying one of the scariest forms of bullying?
We live in a virtual world and the internet can also be abused to shame and bully others. While physical harm may not be involved, cyberbullying puts a great deal of psychological pressure on the beautiful and fragile teenage minds. In fact, cyberbullying and addiction are a growing issue. The seriousness and gravity of this issue is not a joke and sadly, sometimes it can have a fatal outcome for kids who can’t cope with the pressure.
3. Why are teens rejecting and shaming others?
It is not uncommon that the victim of a sexual assault is later seen as responsible and guilty for what happened. Many girls are labeled, rejected, shamed by peers and are publicly denigrated. This is a huge problem and just imagine what it does to people who have been through a traumatic experience and are constantly shamed, even though they are the victim. This issue occurs more and more commonly in real life, as we all know, and many victims have taken their own lives as a result.
Take home lessons from “Girl on the Edge”
Have an open and direct approach to the issue, don’t act out of anger and don’t yell or threaten your child-this way they will only shut you out. You can be scared, confused, angry, worried or frightened, but you need to manage your emotions in order to help you child and provide the needed support. Most importantly, seek professional support for your teenager. It’s a mistake to try and manage everything on your own, and it’s also wrong to ignore the signals that your child is in trouble.
If a person you know has been abused or is cyber-bullied, don’t use their situation to gain social status. Try to imagine what it feels like and then help them get through this difficult time (and report this to parents or school counselors). Also, don’t be a passive by-stander in the eyes of injustice, since if you are keeping quiet while others are verbally bullying someone, your silence is not helping the victim.
It’s OK to be confused…it happens. Have an open conversation with your parents, or if you are afraid to talk to them, tell someone who can help you talk to your parents, like a school counselor or a therapist. Remember that what has happened is not your fault, and you will probably need therapy and time to learn how to cope with everything. But, take your time to heal and remember your family will always be there to support you and love you no matter what happens.
Why we recommend “Girl on the Edge”
In our opinion, this is a film that all parents and teenagers can benefit watching. Although no one is ever really prepared for the worst when it comes unexpectedly, this is a positive and encouraging story that can give everyone a little extra hope. And when we come to ask ourselves what’s the purpose of it all…after all the burdens, troubles, sufferings…”Girl on the Edge” can help you realize that it may take a village to fix a single soul, but the process is driven by compassion, love and persistence.
“Girl on the Edge” questions
We invite you to watch this film and learn from the story of Hannah. Then, if you’d like to share your opinion on the film, or share a personal life story, or ask us a question. Please post them in the comments section below. We appreciate your feedback and try to provide a personal and prompt answer to all legitimate inquiries.