Study finds ’13 Reasons Why’ spiked teen suicide rates, local experts weigh in

Local News

An alarming new study has shed light on a show that raised red flags when it first premiered. 

’13 Reasons Why’ debuted on Netflix in 2017. Many were concerned it glorified teen suicide. 

From 2013 through 2017, researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio studied suicide rates among people 10 to 64. What they found has many worried about how big of an influence pop culture has on teens. 

“Nowadays teens are looking to figures in Hollywood and entertainment as role models,” said primary care physician Dr. David Schutlz. 

Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’ drew criticism and controversy from the start.A show focusing on a high schooler who takes her own life leaving behind 13 audio recordings as to why.  

A new study finds the rate of suicide among US boys ages 10 to 17 surged in the month after the shows premiere. 

Dr. Schultz says the results should highlight the importance of parents and adults staying connected to their child, “One of the concerns about suicide is how should we address that?”
 
He says while teens may seem closed off unwilling to share their feelings, avoiding the discussion is much more harmful. 

“The worst thing you can do is avoid it. You should talk to them about it. They may not be willing to talk about it right then, they may not be open to talking about it but offering to talk about it shows them that you care.. even a couple hours later re-discuss that issue.”

Without the initial discussion he says some teens may not realize what access to help they have right in front of them. 

“As a parent talk to your children, talk to your teens. find out how they feel about life ask them about their interests and what they like to do and tell them you love them.”

Netflix has responded to the study saying this is a critically important topic and it has worked hard to ensure that it handle the sensitive issue responsibly. 
    
Contrary to this study’s findings, others have found the show helped parents open up dialogue with their children and create a safe space.. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help. They provide free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255 or click here

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(This story was originally published on mmmmm dd, 2017)

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