Washington D.C., Nov 23, 2018 / 04:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
A new study from the University of Michigan warns that the popular--and controversial--Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” could influence teens who are considering suicide.
The show, which is an adaptation of the 2007 Jay Asher young adult novel of the same name, tells the story of 17-year-old Hannah Baker and the aftermath of her suicide. Baker left behind a series of audiotapes she had recorded prior to her death implicating people she said were the reasons why she chose to end her life.
When the show was released on Netflix last year, it was criticized for its on-screen depiction of suicide and the overall tone of the series. Catholic leaders urgeded “extreme caution” regarding the show, and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, a nonprofit that aims to prevent suicide, said that they feared the show may do “more harm than good.”
The show’s second season, which was released in May, was shown with a disclaimer that instructed younger viewers to watch the show with an adult and to seek help if they had suicidal thoughts.
Now, a recently-published study supports some of these fears. The study “13 Reasons Why: Viewing Patterns and Perceived Impact Among Youths at Risk of Suicide,” published Nov. 21 in Psychiatry Online, surveyed 87 suicidal teenagers aged 13 to 17 who were taken to the emergency department.