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News at CHI St. Alexius Health - Williston Medical Center
13 Reasons Why

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.

But, some mental health professionals say parents should be alert.

"Glamorizing- that would be a concern that I'd have as well," said Jessica Clement , 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.”








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