The Independent reports that the debate surrounding 13 Reasons Why and whether it deals with the subject of teen suicide tactfully is continuing as it’s reported that schools are now issuing letters to parents warning them about the Netflix drama.
Produced by actor-singer Selena Gomez, the series centres on a 17-year-old high school student Hannah Baker who dies by suicide, leaving behind 13 cassette tapes for 13 different people she felt was instrumental in her decision to take her own life.
Following criticism from mental health organisations, officials in four US schools have raised the alarm believing parents should be made aware of the series.
One of the letters sent to parents of public school students based in Montclair, New Jersey read: “While the show is fictional, the series is extremely graphic, including several rape scenes, and raises significant concerns about the emotional safety of those watching it.“
According to psychiatrist Dr. Christine Moutier, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has noticed an increase in parents and school administrators seeking information on how to help children process the topic of suicide following 13 Reasons Why‘s debut last month.
Moutier believed the education sector’s willingness to reach out to parents to be a “commendable” move.
The show’s writer, Nic Sheff, penned an open letter in response to the criticism explaining the decision to show Baker’s suicide in graphic detail.
You can find psychiatrist Moutier’s tips on what parents should do to make 13 Reasons Why a successful experience, should they decide to let their children watch the show, here.
With so much in the news about mental health, do you think talking to pupils about such programmes as 13 Reasons Why can help? Could you see UK schools sending letters home? Please tell us your thought in comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin
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