Parents will want to be aware of a Netflix series entitled 13 Reasons Why, currently in its 2nd season, 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. 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.
The National Association of School Psychologists has joined with a consortium of education, mental health, and suicide prevention organizations to create an online toolkit regarding the second season of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
The intense, graphic portrayal of difficult issues involving youth present both the risk of triggering harmful behaviors among some vulnerable youth and the opportunity for adults to engage in meaningful and supportive discussions with youth about these issues. It is important that parents, caregivers, educators, and other adults working with children and youth are aware of the potential impact and are prepared to respond appropriately. The toolkit provides comprehensive, specific information regarding the issues portrayed and guidance for engaging and supporting youth.
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).