Staff Writer: Hannah Haigler
For the past few years, Dear Evan Hansen has been a Broadway phenomenon seen by millions that addresses the mental health crisis affecting so many people in our world today.
Dear Evan Hansen reaches out to those hurting and helps them to know that they are not alone as it follows the life of Evan Hansen, a high school senior struggling with social anxiety who writes letters to himself on assignment from his therapist. In confusion, the high school’s outcast, Connor Murphy, who struggles with severe depression, takes one of Hansen’s letters and his family believes that he is Murphy’s only friend. Being a young man who longs for someone to see him, Hansen latches on to the love and attention given to him by the Murphy family as he twists himself and others into a contortion of confusion and chaos.
In a world where isolation, depression, anxiety, and sucicide grip so many in bondage, Dear Evan Hansen brings to light an assurance one can have in asking for help. The movie solidifies the idea that while people think they are the only ones struggling, there are so many right beside them that are struggling as well.
As the story is told through song within the film, the message reaches even further as the songs reach a place of vulnerability that words cannot and follow you out of the theatre. While some songs were removed from the original show, there were also many songs added like “The Anonymous Ones.” While I have known the songs from Dear Evan Hansen for many years, the additional one listed above showed a great amount of significance during my viewing of the movie.
As the pandemic has caused us to isolate ourselves, it has also created walls between people and broken down communication. Hiding emotions and not telling others the heavy burden you carry around often feels as if it is suffocating the small amount of voice you possess. Dear Evan Hansen is a call for us to speak up not only for ourselves but for those around us whose burden is so heavy they have no air to breathe, let alone speak.
When you feel alone, forgotten, and that you do not matter, please remember that there is someone in the world, possibly right beside you that will be there to walk alongside you. It is not the end, it is not over, you will be found.
Take some time this week to allow yourself a mental break by visiting a local theater and viewing Dear Evan Hansen. I promise you will not regret it.
If you or a friend/family member is struggling with mental illness, remember that you are not alone and reach out to the Counseling Center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you, or someone you know, are having thoughts about suicide and would like further emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.