“13 Reasons Why” is a popular show on Netflix that details the events leading up to the suicide of a teenage girl. Studies suggest that this show may be responsible for the spike in teen suicide. “13 Reasons Why” first made its debut in March 2017. The number of suicides among teenage boys increased drastically a month after the show first premiered.
One study was done by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. They used data that was reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The subjects were between the ages of 10 and 64. All of the subjects were divided into different age groups.
The suicide rate after the release of “13 Reasons Why” was 0.57 per 100,000 for boys who were between the ages of 10 and 17. That was the highest that the suicide rate had been in five years. The suicide rate increased by 28.9 percent in this age group.
Netflix has addressed this issue. They stated that suicide is a critical issue, and they want to make sure that they handle it in a responsible manner. Suicide comes in at number three on the list of the top causes of death among people who are between the ages of 10 and 24. Girls are much more likely to attempt suicide, but boys are more likely to succeed in it.
Jeff Bridge works at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and is the director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research. He stated that young people are susceptible to suicide contagion. He stated that suicide contagion can be explained by stories that glorify or romanticize suicide. Stories that offer potential ways to die by suicide and portray it as a means to accomplish a goal may also spread suicide contagion.
After “13 Reasons Why” was first released, schools sent a note home to parents about the show. They offered guidance for parents if they decide to let their children watch it. Netflix also gave a warning to viewers who decided to watch it.
However, the show has still been condemned by mental health experts. John Ackerman, who is one of the authors of the study, heavily criticized the show. He stated that the show is dangerous to youth who are vulnerable to suicide. He also said that parents should be cautious if they choose to let their children watch this show.