13 Reasons Why: Headspace issues warning over new Netflix show

Stock image.
Stock image.

AUSTRALIA’S youth mental health foundation Headspace has issued a warning over the new Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, which investigates the effect a student’s suicide has on an American school and local community.

The show, based on the young adult book of the same name by Jay Asher, premiered on March 31.

Headspace said it has been receiving a growing number of calls and emails from people concerned by what they had seen on the program.

MORE: National survey shows poor mental health in students

“The show exposes viewers to risky suicide content and may lead to a distressing reaction by the viewer particularly if the audience is children and young people,” Headspace’s national manager of school support Kristen Douglas said in a letter.

“National and international research clearly indicates the very real impact and risk of harmful suicide exposure, leading to increased risk and possible suicide contagion.

“There is a responsibility for broadcasters to know what they are showing and the impact that certain content can have on an audience – and on a young audience in particular.

Headspace said it urged “school communities, parents, and mental health services to be aware of the dangers and risks associated for children and young people who have been exposed to this content”.

Please see the following links for helpful information for schools, mental health services, and parents if they are aware that children or young people have been exposed to the content and have expressed concerns around their own mental health, distress, or suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Managing social media following a suicide

Grief – How a young person might respond to a suicide

How to talk about suicide with a young person

If you are aged 12 to 25 and having a tough time, visit your local centre or contact eheadspace on 1800 650 890 or www.eheadspace.org.au.

Other organisations that can assist are:

Lifeline 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

BeyondBlue 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au

Mensline 1300 789 978

KidsHelpline 1800 551 800