From the Director of Student Wellbeing
Mental Health Organisations Response to Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why
Parents may be aware of some recent media coverage and growing concerns regarding the MA 15 + series 13 Reasons Why, which is currently streaming on Netflix. Depicting a young woman who suicides, the fictional series has been running since late March and has drawn considerable criticism from Mental Health Organisations and spokespeople. The well-known Mental Health group, headspace, has issued a warning regarding their concerns that the show presents overly graphic sexual assaults and an explicit suicide scene. headspace have provided schools and parents with some useful resources, including how to talk about suicide with young people. Click here to view the warning.
Kristen Douglas, National Manager of headspace School Support has expressed her view that “The show exposes viewers to risky suicide content and may lead to a distressing reaction by the viewer, particularly if the audience is children and young people.”
Professionals are concerned by the show’s tendency to glorify suicide and have reported that the national suicide media initiative, Mindframe, has significant concerns and warnings related to this content. Click here to read an article that you may find useful commentary on some of the key issues and concerns.
If you are aware that your child has viewed the series, it is recommended that you discuss the program with them. Although it can be daunting to broach the topic of suicide, mental health professionals encourage dialogue about this issue in a calm and straightforward way. The Mental Health First Aid Australia organisation suggests that “it’s important for the adults around them to be ready to talk to them about the content, and about what they should do if they or one of their friends needs help”. The MHFA website site provides a list of discussion points about the program as well as advice regarding how to broach the topic of suicide.
The School Psychologist, Amelia King, and the Wellbeing team will be available should parents, guardians or students wish to discuss any concerns.
If a young person is distressed and in need of support, they can call, contact or visit:
- St Catherine’s School Counsellor Amelia King- firstname.lastname@example.org
- their Year Level Dean
- Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or kidshelpline.com.au
- eHeadspace (1800 650 890) or https://eheadspace.org.au/
- Lifeline (13 11 14) or https://www.lifeline.org.au/
- Suicide Line Victoria 1300 651 251