by Comprehensive Staff
Following the Netflix release of 13 Reasons Why in 2017, many mental health, suicide prevention, and education experts from around the world expressed a common concern about the series’ graphic content and portrayal of difficult issues facing youth. Resources and tools to address these concerns were quickly and widely disseminated in an effort to help parents, educators, clinical professionals and other adults engage in conversations with youth about the themes found in the show.
Research demonstrates that depictions of violence and self-harm can increase the likelihood of copycat behaviors. Adolescents are a vulnerable and highly impressionable group, frequently copying others’ behaviors or reacting in response to things they have seen. We know there was a demonstrated spike in Google searches about suicide and suicide methods associated with the first season.
In advance of the release of season 2, SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) brought together a group of 75 leading experts in mental health, suicide prevention and education as well as healthcare professionals to develop tools to help encourage positive responses to the series. In just a few short months, this group has developed a toolkit providing practical guidance and reliable resources for parents, educators, clinicians, youth and media related to the content of the series (suicide, school violence, sexual assault, bullying, substance abuse, etc.).
Using the toolkit and resources developed will help to encourage conversations, identify those at risk and prevent unexpected tragedies. Hopefully, it will also help those in need get the appropriate level of support and professional care to ensure that youth are protected, nurtured and our communities are stronger.
Click here to explore the Toolkit - its packed with helpful resources tailored specifically to youth, parents, educators, clinicians, and media. Resources include viewing recommendations (vulnerable and at-risk youth are discouraged from watching; parents are encouraged to join their children if they do watch), safety considerations, and specific guidance about debriefing the series and talking with youth about suicide, sexual violence, substance abuse, and bullying.