A new but controversial Netflix series has both school authorities and child psychologists evaluating its impact on teens. The series relates to a high school student who commits suicide and leaves 13 audio recordings which mention 13 people who she holds responsible for pushing her to take this extreme step.
The series was started five weeks ago is named “13 Reasons Why” and has seen school districts issuing warnings and the National Association of School Psychologists publishing guidelines for both educators and parents. The show is based on a book by Jay Asher and has many psychologists opining that it is not suitable for kids who are depressed or going through a difficult situation. Many worries that kids may not be watching the serial under the expert guidance of their parents or elders. Most kids have access to laptops or iPads, and the worrying aspect is that the show does not reassure the kids about how safe they are in their school environment or encourage them to meet the school counselors.
Suicide depiction questioned by experts
Many mental health experts after watching the show find the overarching story line are noble and too simplistic –Be nice to people because one cannot be aware of the travails and tribulations they are going through. However, in a darker side, the depiction of the fictional teenager Hannah Baker’s death by suicide and the blame game also gives another message, “Be kind to people or they may make you regret it later.”
The main objection which many experts had was the depiction of suicide and the lack of understanding of how to show it on screen. The support of personalities like Selena Gomes who also was the executive producer of the series also led to a backlash. Selena’s comments and frank acknowledgment of her mental health issues also was not accepted by the intelligentsia.
Preventive say some experts
However, there are no deaths of persons who are in all support for the series and termed it an eye opener. A person on the path of suicide is actually on tenterhooks and tries desperately to attract attention. The telltale signs are far too evident to be ignored and the serial claims to do exactly that- Educating the masses to prevent such unfortunate happenings.