The Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was associated with a 28.9% increase in suicide rates among U.S. youth ages 10-17 in the month (April 2017) following the shows release, after accounting for ongoing trends in suicide rates, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
The study estimated that 195 more suicides occurred in 2017 in this age group than would be expected given current trends
This study references Season One of the popular Netflix series. I presented with three of the authors of this study on another topic this past weekend at Pediatric Academic Society Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. I knew something was going on and there was a lot of buzz from the media although I didn’t know the results of the study.
“Suicide is a problem worldwide, and it’s so hard to knock these rates down. The last thing we need is something that increases them.”Lisa M. Horowitz, staff scientist in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Intramural Research Program, and an author of the paper.
For Season Two of 13RW, the producers consulted with the JED Foundation. I saw that difference. Season Two included realistic themes of what this generation is struggling with but included teenagers seeking help and using positive coping strategies.