'13 Reasons Why' Has Been Criticised For "Dangerous Content" By A Mental Health Charity
19 April 2017, 12:34 | Updated: 18 January 2018, 16:37
Headspace join a growing number of voices expressing concern over the graphic nature of the Netflix show.
An Australian mental health charity has expressed concerns over the "dangerous content" in Netflix's hugely popular new series 13 Reasons Why.
Huffington Post reports that the organisation Headspace has "received a growing numbers of calls and emails directly related to the program" over the last few weeks, with schools and parents already in contact expressing their concern.
Kristen Douglas, the national manager of Headspace school support, spoke to Huffington Post about the "risky suicide content" that could cause a "distressing reaction":
"National and international research clearly indicates the very real impact and risk to harmful suicide exposure leading to increased risk and possible suicide contagion...It's not like car crashes or cancer, irresponsible reporting of suicide can lead to further death. We need to talk more about youth suicide, but there's a way of doing that and a way we can raise those concerns and have a range of awareness...But we need to steer clear of really dangerous things like method, or oversimplifying it to one thing like bullying."
Australia has long had strong guidelines for media and journalists regarding the depiction of suicide that tend to focus on not highlighting method, location or any very specific details of suicide. These are largely adhered to but does not include internationally made media such as Netflix original programming. However, several episodes of 13 Reasons Why do come with a pre-warning that they contain graphic content.
In response to the show, Headspace have released some specific new resources focusing on managing social media after a suicide and opening dialogues about grief with younger people.
Many others have criticised the series for its more brutal depiction of suicide, including Stranger Things star Shannon Purser, who's recent tweets on the subject seemed to resonate a great deal with fans of the show.
I would advise against watching 13 Reasons Why if you currently struggle with suicidal thoughts or self harm/have undergone sexual assault.— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) April 18, 2017
@shannonpurser I've struggled with mental health & I agree It's important to practice self care and be mindful of triggers— lifeoffaif (@lifeoffaif) April 18, 2017
@shannonpurser Even with the warnings I didn't expect it to be THAT intensely graphic. Def don't think kids should be watching the show without a parent— Jenn (@jennlou03) April 18, 2017
@shannonpurser yes, it does get really deep into things like self harm, and suicidal thoughts, it's helpful that they put warnings— caiłie (@mukes_laughx) April 18, 2017
@shannonpurser Thank you for this. I've even seen people making Musicallys and all different sorts of jokes. It's sick, and not the message of 13rw at all.— Alana (@bugheadheart) April 18, 2017
The show has been upfront about its honest depiction of these difficult issues. But it is clear that, for many fans, the graphic imagery can prove too much.
What do you guys think? Does 13 Reasons Why go too far with its content? Let us know your thoughts.
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