When the popular Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” premiered in 2017, experts believed that it might increase the suicide rate. The show’s graphic depiction of suicide was the main reason for concern as it might make some vulnerable viewers inclined to suicidal thinking.
A new study suggests that the experts were correct. Reports say that 195 additional suicides occurred in the nine months after Netflix released the first season of 13 Reasons Why. Moreover, Researchers found that there was an increase in suicide rates among U.S. boys age 10-17 in April 2017.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry on this Monday. It also mentioned that April 2017 had the highest number of suicides when compared to any April of the past nine years.
The story revolves around the teen Hannah Baker, who committed suicide and left 13 cassette tapes explaining her decision. It premiered on Netflix in April 2017. The show was praised for its realistic portrayal of sensitive topics like suicide and sexual harassment. At the time of its release, it was one of the most watched shows on Netflix. Despite, it was discredited for the slight glorification of suicide.
Although, the new study does not reveal the exact relationship between watching the show and increased the suicide rate. But, it does conclude that the show is somehow connected with the increase in teen suicide.
The Nation Association of School Psychologists cautions children and adolescents by issuing a warning statement:
“We do not recommend that vulnerable youth watch this series.”
Netflix in defence released a statement on Tuesday saying, “We have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly.” They are looking into the matter.
“13 Reasons Why” is currently streaming on Netflix. It has two seasons with 13 episodes each. The third season is expected to release on Netflix later this year.