A controversial Netflix series leads to a discussion of suicide.
Mental health experts talked about “13 Reasons Why” Tuesday evening with the goal of raising awareness. Health professionals and teachers made up most of the crowd at the Hult Center to talk about suicide, which is the second highest cause of death among teens.
Speakers gave parents tips on what to look for if your teen is depressed or possibly thinking about suicide. They also discussed the importance of bringing the topic up to teenagers who you think might be at risk of suicide.
Some mental health experts said the show is making suicide look more like a solution, especially to young audiences or those thinking about it, which is why it’s important for parents to guide conversations that follow.
Others say the show gives parents a reason to start the talk.
“One of the greatest myths about suicide is that if I talk about it, I’m going to make somebody do it and I’m going to cause harm, and especially adults have that fear and that is absolutely not true,” said Kay Blankenship, Mental Health Specialist with the Hult Center.
Mental health specialists say it’s important for teens to know that they can trust adults, and say if your child hasn’t yet seen the show, it’s best to keep it that way.