Howard school staff, mental health experts weigh in on suicide depiction in Netflix series

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Looking For The Light Blog

Andrew Michaels Contact Reporter Howard County Times

The Netflix hit series “13 Reasons Why” has the Howard County school system, and schools in neighboring counties, warning parents about the show’s graphic depictions of teen suicide, rape and bullying. At the same time, many are saying the show opens a doorway into conversations on suicide and other “uncomfortable” topics.

The streaming service’s show caught viewer attention nationwide after its debut in March. The show follows the story of high school student Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 cassette tape recordings for her peers, who she said contributed to her decision to end her life.

Based on a 2007 novel with the same title, the graphic depictions in the 13-episode show – rated TV-MA for mature audiences only – raised concerns among mental health experts, educators, parents and youth. Efforts against the show include that of Oxford…

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2 comments

  1. It was a major concern of mine. I didn’t watch it. I commend the school for discussion mental illness in positive terms and to break a stigma. I’m with you, no school is capable of knowing how to approach to the movie. I would love to hear from from Teachers and Parents. Did the parents think the outcome was positive, what about all the absent parents who don’t have conversations to answer questions.
    Glad you back. I see changes ahead for the group which will moves us forward.
    M

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  2. I watched the series after hearing several of my students talking about it, when it first came out on Netflix. I have experienced the frustration as both a teacher, and parent of children with mental health issues. Schools have a long way to go in learning to approach mental health issues in a proactive way. We have so much information about ACES, mental health, and trauma, just to name a few. Providing support to kids is vital…

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