A new Netflix series called
"13 Reasons Why'" has started a national conversation about mental
health and teen suicide prevention. The show is rated TV mature, but has been
consumed by teens. Some mental health professionals say "13 Reasons
Why" could be positive, while others are advising parents to be wary. The
new Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" is rated TV mature, but has
become a popular show among U.S. teens.
mental health professionals say parents should be alert.
"Glamorizing- that would be
a concern that I'd have as well," said
, CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck
counselor. The show centers on a teenage girl who commits suicide. Before she
dies, she sends 13 tapes to people she believes caused her death.
The North Dakota Department of
Public Instruction recently sent an email to public school officials about the
show and how to speak with students about it.The National Association of School
Psychologists released a statement saying it should not be viewed by vulnerable
or struggling youth- saying they could romanticize the choices made by the
characters and/or develop revenge fantasies.
"If this is a way out, if
this is a way to really make a difference- suicide- then I would be concerned
of individuals watching the show and feeling like there isn't another
way," said Clement.
Clement says the show could raise
awareness about suicide among teens, if addressed correctly. "The key
message that I would like to see is that there is help. That individuals that
are struggling can find an outlet," said Clement. “If teens do watch
"13 Reasons Why," parents should watch with them, and have a
conversation about the show's themes. Some suicide risk warning signs are
suicide threats, changes in behavior, and emotional distress.”