Increased youth suicide rates linked to Netflix ’13 Reasons Why’
Image: Beth Dubber/Netflix
Two separate studies were released assessing the monthly suicide rates among various age groups with the release of the Netflix show ’13 Reasons Why’. The popular Netflix show depicted the suicide of its main protagonist which had alarmed mental health experts who were concerned about how this may influence and it’s effect on young viewers. The first study found that the suicide rate among 10 to 17-year-olds boys increased significantly in the month after the release and remained higher for the subsequent 2 months. They found no significant changes in the suicide rates among older age ranges. The second study, conducted by a separate team, came to the same conclusion. In the 3 months after the Netflix show’s release, youth suicide rate for 10 to 19-year-olds rose by 13%. This study was done on both male and female youths.
One of the author notes “One cannot draw definitive causal conclusions from such data, but that no similar increase was seen in suicide rates other than for the age group to which the media portrayal pertained provides some further compelling evidence that the excess suicides may indeed have been owing to the series”
The hope is that these studies would encourage the entertainment industry to consider the impact of these kinds of scenes and perhaps work closer with experts before putting in such scenes in future shows.
“So, there is now evidence from two independent teams who found the same main result. We hope that both of these studies’ findings will now encourage collaborations between the entertainment industry and suicide prevention. We also hope that this will be a wake-up call to those who have not considered the relevance of these kinds of collaborations in the past.”
Read the study on the Association between the release of 13 Reasons Why and suicide rates in the United States.
Read more at Mashable: Another study points to link between ’13 Reasons Why’ and increased youth suicides