Should Parents Worry When Their Teens Watch '13 Reasons Why'

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald April 13, 04:00 am
Dylan Minnette played Clay on "13 Reasons Why."
(Photo : Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Netflix's series adaptation of Jay Asher's YA book, "13 Reasons Why," became a huge hit among its viewers. Despite the film's success, it gathered mixed feedback in regards to the film's capacity to impact the viewers' mental health.

The "13 Reasons Why" adaptation explained the struggle of Hannah Baker and how each situation led to her death. Hannah attempted to seek help before taking her own life but her efforts were disregarded, which ended up with her decision to commit suicide. Some viewers applauded the film as it opened up topics that can enhance teenage mental health and awareness. Sensitive topics such as bullying, campus rape and suicide were highlighted in the series.

Parents and educators raised their concern in regards to the series' graphic and sexual content, according to The Mighty. "13 Reasons Why" can potentially trigger a person suffering from PTSD to relapse. It can also raise as a threat for people having suicidal thoughts and depression.

One of the factors being looked upon by Bustle is Netflix's lack of resources for people struggling with suicide. Some graphic chapters, especially the last three episodes, can be traumatic for a person dealing with heavy emotions. Depression and anxiety, but the streaming site failed to provide a potential outlet such as the suicide hotline or the website at the start of each episode.

Netflix replied via email answering Bustle's concern regarding the streaming site's lack of suicide awareness resources. Mental health experts approved the content of the film and a thorough deliberation was done before the series was released according to Netflix's response.

"From the onset of work on '13 Reasons Why' we have been mindful both of the show's intense themes and the intended audience," Netflix's response to Bustle via email. "We are proud to be a platform that can portray these undoubtedly tough issues for young adults with complete (uncensored) authenticity, while not negating the serious nature of the subject matter. During production, our executive producers consulted with several mental health professionals who helped guide their storytelling approach to suicide, sexual assault and bullying."

Parents should not fret if their teenagers were able to follow the series as long as they would take the time to discuss it. The film is a potential outlet for parents to open up to their kids in regards to suicide and depression, as per Commonsense Media. Parents should also open up to their teens and educate them with the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or you can check their website, suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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