When Tyler Bennett and Esther Reyes began their freshman year at Achievement First High School in Brooklyn four years ago, Monica Debbeler could tell right away they were destined for success—and that the school was dedicated to bringing the challenging opportunities they needed to them.
The trending Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, based on a young adult novel of the same name, is raising such concerns. The series revolves around year-old Hannah Baker, who takes her own life and leaves behind audio recordings for 13 people who she says in some way were part of why she killed herself.
Each tape recounts painful Guidance counselor research paper in which one or more of the 13 individuals played a role. Producers for the show say they hope the series can help those who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide. However, the series, which many teenagers are binge watching without adult guidance and support, is raising concerns from suicide prevention experts about the potential risks posed by the sensationalized treatment of youth suicide.
The series graphically depicts a suicide death and addresses in wrenching detail a number of difficult topics, such a bullying, rape, drunk driving, and slut shaming. The series also highlights the consequences of teenagers witnessing assaults and bullying i.
Cautions We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series. They may easily identify with the experiences portrayed and recognize both the intentional and unintentional effects on the central character.
While many youth are resilient and capable of differentiating between a TV drama and real life, engaging in thoughtful conversations with them about the show is vital. Doing so presents an opportunity to help them process the issues addressed, consider the consequences of certain choices, and reinforce the message that suicide is not a solution to problems and that help is available.
This is particularly important for adolescents who are isolated, struggling, or vulnerable to suggestive images and storylines. What the series does accurately convey is that there is no single cause of suicide. Indeed, there are likely as many different pathways to suicide as there are suicide deaths.
However, the series does not emphasize that common among most suicide deaths is the presence of treatable mental illnesses. Suicide is not the simple consequence of stressors or coping challenges, but rather, it is most typically a combined result of treatable mental illnesses and overwhelming or intolerable stressors.
School psychologists and other school-employed mental health professionals can assist stakeholders e. Children and youth who view this series will need supportive adults to process it. Take this opportunity to both prevent the risk of harm and identify ongoing social and behavior problems in the school community that may need to be addressed.
Help students articulate their perceptions when viewing controversial content, such as 13 Reasons Why.
Reinforce that school-employed mental health professionals are available to help. Emphasize that the behavior of the second counselor in the series is understood by virtually all school-employed mental health professionals as inappropriate. It is important that all school-employed mental health professionals receive training in suicide risk assessment.
Make sure parents, teachers, and students are aware of suicide risk warning signs. Always take warning signs seriously, and never promise to keep them secret. Establish a confidential reporting mechanism for students. Threats can be verbal or written, and they are often found in online postings.
Giving away prized possessions. Preoccupation with death in conversation, writing, drawing, and social media. This can include someone who is typically sad who suddenly becomes extremely happy.
Students who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly; however, parents, school personnel, and peers can recognize the warning signs and take immediate action to keep the youth safe. When a student gives signs that they may be considering suicide, take the following actions: Remain calm, be nonjudgmental, and listen.
Strive to understand the intolerable emotional pain that has resulted in suicidal thoughts.
Ask the student directly if they are thinking about suicide i. Focus on your concern for their well-being and avoid being accusatory. Reassure the student that there is help and they will not feel like this forever.We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.
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An ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or people (interpersonal skills).
See also competence.