Netflix series sparks concerns, conversations on suicide | KOB 4
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Netflix series sparks concerns, conversations on suicide

Morgan Aguilar
May 29, 2018 06:25 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The second season of the Netflix series ‘13 Reasons Why’ is out, and with it comes a second round of concerns.

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Shawn Sidhu, Training Director for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UNM Department of Psychiatry is trying to reach as many parents as possible, to encourage them to talk to their kids about the show, suicide, and healthy ways of managing depression.

He says following the release of the first season, there was a surge in Google searches for “suicide,” and “ways to kill yourself.” He says there were also more emergency room visits related to suicide.

The series tells the story of a 17-year-old girl who takes her own life.

“The show is very realistic and also taps into a lot of areas that are impressionable with teenagers,” said Sidhu. “For children who are already at risk, maybe they're suffering from depression, maybe they're suffering from anxiety, maybe there's trouble at home, maybe they're being bullied, maybe they have a difficult life for whatever reason, this show can sort of act like gasoline, adding gasoline to the fire and it can be what pushes some vulnerable teens over the edge.”

Sidhu says children 13 or younger should not be watching the show. For older teens, he says it’s important parents ask about what their child thought about the show, and use it to start a conversation.

“About 80 percent of kids who actually end up getting treatment, improve,” said Sidhu.

Creators of the show say they don’t want to romanticize suicide. They say they want the series to encourage teens who need it to ask for help.

Anyone who needs help can always call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Additional resources available here.

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Morgan Aguilar

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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