Netflix Moves to Address Behavioral Health Concerns on 13 Reasons Why
We at MindWise Innovations are very pleased to learn of Netflix’s recent announcement that it has edited out the graphic depiction of the suicide death of a teen from the first season of its series 13 Reasons Why. While the show has brought – and continues to bring – important attention to issues of behavioral health and suicide prevention, some of its portrayal of these topics is particularly dangerous for vulnerable populations. For a more in-depth discussion of the dangers of unsafe depictions of suicide, check out this NPR interview on 13 Reasons Why with MindWise Expert Larry Berkowitz.
Removing some of the more graphic elements from this scene goes a long way toward alleviating many of the concerns that we and others have raised about the show. Nevertheless, this open letter to parents from our partners at the Riverside Trauma Center remains relevant. It offers valuable recommendations on engaging with children and adolescents to discuss difficult topics such as behavioral health and suicide.
If you or a loved one needs immediate support, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the word “ACT” to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.