Monday, May 1, 2017

13 Reasons Why - Start the Conversation!

Whether we like it or not, students are watching the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why​, often without adult input. In this 13 part series, Hannah Baker recounts her experiences prior to dying by suicide. Her suicide is witnessed along with numerous sexual assaults and instances of slut shaming, bullying and harassment. While we should by no means avoid the discussion of mental health issues, our concerns stem from the idea that this series may glamorize teen suicide for some of our children. The series presents the aftermath of the suicide in a captivating and dramatic fashion not in a realistic manner. Critics have expressed concerns that the series doesn’t treat the very real problem of teen suicide seriously or realistically, and, have expressed concern that the series in fact romanticizes teen suicide. The popularity of the show does present a prime opportunity to begin the conversation and correct some of the myths around mental health and suicide that are portrayed by the series.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has created a talking guide for educators, parents and students. http://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/safeschools/E-Updates/eupdatefiles/13ReasonsWhyGuidance_FINAL.pdf

If your child has already viewed the series, we would encourage that you consider beginning a discussion about the series with your child. SAVE (The Suicide Awareness of Voices in Education) has put out an article entitled Talking Points for New Netflix
Series - 13 Reasons Why.

This piece, http://files.constantcontact.com/0c8ba0ff101/b759ea8b-3f2e-436b-af72-acbd5f8ce8fc.pdf
can assist you in starting such a conversation with your child if you are looking for guidance. This piece also assists in conversations if youth has watched or knows the story https://www.headspace.org.au/assets/School-Support/Talking-to-Young-People-about-13-Reasons-Why.pdf

If you have concerns about your child viewing this or other TV-MA shows on Netflix, and are looking for information regarding their Parental Controls, please click the following link for help with making the desired adjustments: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/60850

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provide a free webinar for schools and informed community leaders that addresses the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. The webinar is titled: A Teachable Moment: Using “13 Reasons Why” to Initiate a Helpful Conversation about Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and can be viewed here: www.afsp.org/mentalhealth
If you ever feel like you or your child needs support or someone to talk to, please reach out to the Colorado Crisis and Support Line 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text "TALK" to 38255 or go to www.coloradocrisisservices.org to access chat. Help and hope are available 24 / 7 / 365

Here is the SAVE.org / Jed Foundation talking points:
https://www.save.org/blog/tips-watching-new-netflix-series-13-reasons/

Here is a great blog post “Can ’13 Reasons Why’ Really Cause Suicides?”
It’s at http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/2017/04/30/suicide-contagion/

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