“13 Reasons Why” Netflix Series has gained a lot of attention since its release last month. Although the goal of the series is to raise suicide prevention awareness, it’s also raising some concerns that suicide prevention experts are asking everyone to be aware of. There are some potential risks involved for vulnerable teenagers who may develop revenge fantasies or may romanticize the choices made by the characters in the series. There is also some concern over the adult characters in the show that don’t inspire a sense of trust or help and it’s important for vulnerable teens to know that school-employed mental health professionals are available to help.
We’ve come across an article on National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) website that we believe is incredibly insightful and lists many considerations for educators and parents alike in discussing and/or watching this series with their children. This article offers important information for parents, teachers, and students to become aware of suicide risk warning signs, so that when they see them they can take action to help. Research shows that students who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly, so when someone does exhibit any of the warning signs, don’t be afraid to ask if they have thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. “Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.”
Guidance for educator’s, families, and safe messaging for students is all included in this important message in preventing youth suicide.
Click here to access the article: “13 Reasons Why” Netflix Series: Considerations for Educators
To further understand how 13 Reasons Why dramatizes situations and the realities of suicide read these helpful points from SAVE.org and the JED Foundation