Back in April, Netflix released the drama ’13 Reasons Why’ and The Activist Mommy responded as the show rapidly went viral.
Fast forward three months to today: scientists, out of fear of the repercussions of the show’s intense themes and heavy plotline, conducted a study to determine whether ’13 Reasons Why’ will lead to a rise in suicide deaths amongst viewers.
Check it out:
“Psychiatrists have expressed grave concerns, because the show ignores the World Health Organization’s validated media guidelines for preventing suicide,” coauthor on the study John W. Ayers of San Diego State University told Fatherly. WHO’s guidelines aim to discourage content that centers around suicide.
Scientists have already found that Google searches of “how to commit suicide” have seen a 26 percent increase since the show was launched.
Ayers and his team focused primarily on Google searches between March 31, 2017 (the show’s launch date) and April 18, 2017, so as to account for any influence from former NFL Player Aaron Hernandez’s suicide death.
The spikes occurred in more searches than just one—”suicide hotlines” and “suicide prevention” searches increased by 12 and 23 percent; “how to kill yourself” was up 9 percent” and “commit suicide” was up 26 percent.
Experts warned the show’s producers almost instantly of the detrimental risk the show’s explicit nature imposed upon vulnerable teenagers.
Dan Reidenberg, executive director for the nonprofit Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, told ABC News the show does “more harm than good.” And the National Association of School Psychologists issued a warning against “vulnerable youth” watching the popular show.
Ayers and his colleagues are officially calling upon Netflix to end or edit the show to abide by the standards of suicide prevention.
Suicide is already the third-leading cause of death amongst teenagers. Parents, take the advice of the mom below, and don’t let your kids watch this show:
You can read The Activist Mommy’s post on ’13 Reasons Why’ here.