Kieren: There’s nothing for me here.
Simon: There’s your family. There’s Amy. There’s me.
This is another thing I love about this show. It gives you the whole range of reactions to a person’s mental illness and to whatever drastic actions they might take to try to stop hurting.
Amy’s reaction is one of sympathy, but it’s a confused sympathy, a “why would anyone want to die? How could anyone hurt that much?” accompanying the hug. She feels bad for him but she doesn’t entirely understand.
Conversely you have Rick, whose immediate reaction is anger. Not at Kieren specifically, but at the circumstances and at everything Kieren threw away at his death. Rage that his own death could make Kieren feel so trapped he had to die, that not even the prospect of getting away to art school was enough to save him. Rage that it was probably Roarton’s fault, and his father’s fault, and probably rage that he wasn’t able to help Kieren.
I think Sue is really interesting. Her story tells him that she understands suicidal thoughts and she understands that it hurts and he feels hopeless. But at the same time I think she doesn’t quite understand that it’s the treatment of the town as much as Kieren’s own anxiety and depression that’s hurting him. He feels that everyone hates him and wants him gone and has no idea how to stop or change that. I think she gets that he hurts but doesn’t entirely get why. And Sue’s reaction is so calm and understanding. She actively tries to show that she understands that he’s hurting and offers help. Amy and Rick react for themselves because they don’t understand and don’t know what to do or say to help. Sue reacts for Kieren.
And then there’s Simon, who doesn’t offer help. He doesn’t get angry or sad or try to tell Kieren what to do or try to fix things that might not be able to be fixed. He simply offers empathy and understanding. He knows what it’s like, and I think that’s something that Kieren needed.
I think, in a town where he had been the outcast since he was a kid, but had enough of a history with the others in the town (unlike Amy), he was unable to do what Amy did and be open for the simplicity and freedom of it. He was still feeling trapped, and still feeling depressed, and still feeling like nobody understood why he felt so awful. And the Simon comes along and while he’s a little more like Amy in regards to his PDS condition, he understands at least how Kieren is feeling and how he was feeling when he died. He doesn’t have to give Kieren reassurances or placations after his monologue, because he knows that it’s not always what is needed. Just telling his own story is enough.