The Effects of '13 Reasons Why'
Almost immediately after "13 Reasons Why" debuted on Netflix at the end of March, the controversial show, which is based on a book by Jay Asher, went viral among teens and adolescents. The series tells the story of Hannah Baker—a teen who is bullied, assaulted, and feels let down by the people in her life. Hannah records 13 audio cassette tapes explaining her perspective, and then commits suicide.
The show’s tremendous popularity continues to grow and parents, teachers, school administrators, mental health professionals, and others have raised several concerns. Among the most profound: Does "13 Reasons Why" present—and glorify—suicide as an option to teens who experience trauma in their lives?
As discussions and debates about the series continue, Netflix has increased the number of warnings that appear throughout the show—and has strengthened the language of those warnings. Some experts warn "13 Reasons Why" could serve as a trigger for young people who are struggling with mental health issues. Parents are advised to watch with their teen, if possible, and talk about the issues presented. For more information, please read 13 Questions for Parents to Consider about "13 Reasons Why" and How to Improve Communication With Your Teen After 13 Reasons Why.
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