Questioning 13 Reasons Why

A shot from the show of Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker.

A shot from the show of Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker.

Erin Hutcheson, Staff Editor

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Netflix’s hit show, 13 Reasons Why, has been controversial since it was released in 2017. From people saying it was romanticizing suicide to saying it was a good representation of how important it is to speak out about mental health issues, but the show is back in the news with a new study that shows an increase of teens committing suicide after the shows release.

 

According to The Cut, a new study published by Journal of Child and Adolescents Psychiatry found that there was an increase in suicide rate for boys between the age of 10 to 17 a month after the show was released in 2017. There wasn’t a drastic change for girls. There were 195 more teenagers committing suicide than anticipated in the 9 months after the show was put on Netflix.

 

They also said that this information could be plausible because they didn’t have data on how many people attempted suicide or if any of the people who committed suicide watched the show.

 

The series is based on a book that many people already knew but when the show came out, everyone knew about it. It seemed to poke fun at suicide. Showing the main character, Hannah Baker, being picked on and taking advantage of so much that she went over the edge. She then left tapes for everyone who ruined her life so they could know what they did. People can take it very different ways.

 

I think the show is easily triggering, down to the fact that they show how she committed suicide, so it can be very impressionable to youth. I don’t think any of the creators of the show had cruel intentions with it, they just didn’t handle it perfectly. I will admit that they handle the rawness of these hard topics well. It shows how awful what some of these characters have to go through, but that can be triggering. It’s a very intense show.

Whether this increase was due to the show or not, this should raise awareness that there’s something going on with teens and their mental health. With social media being a dominating thing in youths life, it’s easy to be exposed to anything. The increase is heartbreaking, it should wake people up. 13 Reasons Why is trying to be a platform to shed light on mental health but it seems to be having the opposite effect.