Netflix’s new original series, “13 Reasons Why,” is generating a good bit of controversy. The show, about a teen girl named Hannah Baker who takes her own life and, before she does, records a series of 13 cassette tapes. The subject of each tape is a fellow student at her high school who, according to Hannah, is partially responsible for her suicide. Hannah’s tapes serve as the narration for the show but viewers follow her friend, classmate and love interest, Clay Jensen, who is also a subject of one of the tapes.
The series has started a national discussion among kids, parents, educators, and mental health professionals across the country over the way that the narrative handles the issue of suicide and whether the show glamorizes it.
Have you or your family watched “13 Reasons Why”? What do you think of the series’ depiction of suicide? If you’re a parent, did you use this as an opportunity to talk with your kids about suicide, whether it pertains to them or someone they might know? How do you broach the subject with your kids? With your parents?
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you or someone you know need support or assistance.
Melissa Reeves, president of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and a licensed professional counselor. NASP has developed a guidance which it sent to school mental health professionals across the country on how to talk about “13 Reasons Why”
Jeremy Goldbach, assistant professor in the School of Social Work at USC, and a licensed social worker