Parents will want to be aware of a Netflix series entitled "13 Reasons Why," that is gaining a lot of attention among American youth. "13 Reasons Why" is a dramatic series highlighting suicide and other graphic topics, to include sexual assault and bullying. This series premiered a month ago, already has a strong following in teen populations, and has received strong ratings from media reviewers. However, it has also raised considerable concern among mental health professionals in the suicide prevention community. Specific concerns include the glamorization of suicide, the lack of resiliency building, revenge fantasies, and a disregard for the finality of death.
We recommend that you closely monitor your child's media activities and that you remain cautious about allowing your child to view this series. Rated TV-MA (Mature Audiences), parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 to watch it unattended. If your child has already viewed any portion of this series, we have included several resources on this page that you may use in a discussion with them concerning suicide. In this respect, you may have an opportunity to discuss an important topic openly and with caring support.
If you or your student believe someone may be displaying signs of suicide please remember to ACT:
To further foster support and safety, we encourage all members of our community to take the steps to be there for someone, to actively listen, and connect. Should you need additional support in addressing this sensitive topic or have question, please contact your school's principal, counselor, or school psychologist.
We hope this information is helpful in continuing our partnership to foster your child's well-being and positive growth and development.
On this edition of the The Chat Room we discuss suicide prevention and how parents and teachers can stay informed.
Service members or their families in crisis should seek help immediately by contacting the Military Crisis Line. Dial 800-273-8255 (press 1 for military) for 24/7 crisis support. The crisis line also provides an online chat www.militarycrisisline.net and text service (838255).