Within days of the release of 13 Reasons Why, Netflix’s teen-oriented drama about a high-school student who takes her own life, the show was being loudly criticized by suicide-prevention experts, who were concerned it could lead to a suicide-contagion effect and a spate of copycat attempts. Now, research published at the end of July argues that those concerns may have been founded. Google queries about suicide rose by almost 20 percent in 19 days after the show came out, representing between 900,000 and 1.5 million more searches than usual regarding the subject.
A grieving mother has pleaded with other parents to think twice about letting their children watch a popular Netflix show after he daughter killed herself after finishing it.
Rachael Warburton, says her daughter Jessica Scatterson, 12, left a suicide note with ‘six reasons to kill herself’ before she hanged herself.
She had told her mother that she had been watching 13 Reasons Why, a show about a teenager who commits suicide and leaves a series of recording that attempt to explain her irrational decision.
A new US study has also found that teen suicides spiked 30 per cent after first season of 13 Reasons Why aired, with the rise mainly driven by boys, although no direct causal link could be made.
‘Jessica was watching this show with her friends and listed six reasons why she wanted to die,’ Rachel told the Mirror.
‘It should be banned, because my daughter watched it and it gives children the idea to self-harm.’
An inquest into the young girl’s death heard she and her friends had self-harmed, and that she had made superficial cuts to her leg in the shape of lettering.
Devastated mother Rachael Warburton has pleaded for other parents not to allow young children to watch the 15-rated Netflix series
Jessica’s friends had called police after she posted a photo of her foot with ‘RIP’ written on it.
He found her hanged in her bedroom at her father’s home in Warrington, Cheshire, just two days short of her 13th birthday.
A small blade from a pencil sharpener was found in her room, as well as notes that referred to suicide, and the name of an alleged bully and a drawing of someone being hanged.
Her death came three weeks after 13 Reasons Why was first shown on Netlfix.
Most episodes received a 15 age certificate from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). Four were given an 18 rating, including one in the first series in which lead character Hannah Barker (Katherine Langford) kills herself.
Mother Rachael, a care support worker from Leigh, Greater Manchester said of the programme she had been watching: ‘Its intentions are to raise suicide awareness but I believe it encourages young people to commit suicide.
‘All Jessica’s friends were messaging each other discussing the series. Parents should be warned not to let their children watch it.’
According to the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, there were 195 more suicides than expected in the nine months after the series was released.
Labour MP Stephen Doughty said: ‘We should be doing all we can to protect and safeguard children and young people from suicide narratives whether online or on streaming TV services.
‘Providers like Netflix are simply not doing enough to ensure that appropriate age verification is in place for easily accessible TV services.’
A Netflix spokesman defended the series saying: ‘It is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly.’
Teen suicides spiked 30% after first season of 13 Reasons Why – mainly driven by boys
Researchers in America found that suicides by young Americans rose by nearly a third in the month following the 2017 debut of Netflix drama series ’13 Reasons Why,’ in which a teenage girl kills herself.
The increase was driven primarily by young boys, the researchers said.
The researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio said the study had limitations and they could not make a direct causal link between ’13 Reasons Why’ and the increase in suicide rates or rule out other factors.
A previous study had found watching the programme was associated with a reduced risk of self-harm for some young adults.
The rate of suicide in April 2017 was 28.9 percent higher among US youths aged 10 to 17 than would be expected based on suicide counts and trends observed in previous years.
In another survey, of 18- to 29-year-olds, University of Pennsylvania researchers found students who watched all of season two of ’13 Reasons Why’ were less likely to report self-harm and suicidal thoughts than others who did not watch the series at all.
The production team defended the show but Netflix said they are looking into the new research.