What to Know About "13 Reasons Why"

  • May 24, 2018

    Dear Families,

    Last year, you may remember, we sent a message about the new Netflix television series called "13 Reasons Why” which revolves around a high school student who commits suicide after suffering demoralizing treatment at the hands of classmates. This show is incredibly popular with teens.

    Last week, Season 2 of Netflix's "13 Reasons Why" was released.

    Like Season 1, Season 2 deals with mature themes, including a suicide, date rape, bullying and harassment, alcohol and drug use, and extreme violence. The intense, graphic portrayal of these difficult issues involving youth present both the risk of triggering harmful behaviors among some vulnerable youth and the opportunity for adults to engage in meaningful and supportive discussions with youth about these issues.

    What parents can do:

    • Watch this series with your child and discuss what you see. Children with a higher risk for suicide should not watch this program alone.
    • Discuss real-life examples of adults that can help versus the unrealistic view that help is not available.
    • Keep a close watch on your child. If your child does watch the show, pay more attention to signs and symptoms of depression, withdrawal, eating or sleeping more or less, or losing interest in activities.
    • Provide access to help. Give your child suggestions for whom to reach out to in family support, positive friends, mentors, and healthy activities.

    Some of the warning signs of anyone in emotional distress or thinking about suicide are:

    • Direct (“I am going to kill myself”) or indirect (“I wish things would stop”) threats of suicide, both verbal and in writing.  Many of these threats are made online or using social media.
    • Giving away prized possessions.
    • A dramatic change in eating or sleeping habits (either too much or too little).
    • Withdrawal and isolation from friends and family.
    • Changes in behavior, appearance, hygiene, thoughts, or feelings.  A person who typically is sad and suddenly is very happy or at ease is a warning sign.

    All warning signs should be taken seriously. Community supports are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and always are available for consultation if you are concerned about your children.

    • CALL 800-273-TALK (8255), the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
    • CALL 208-398-4357, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline.
    • TEXT the Crisis Text Line, a free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. TEXT 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.

    More Resources and Additional Information:

     

    NICHOLE PIEKARSKI, MSN, RN -  Lead Nurse
    Health Services & Nursing, Coeur d’Alene Public Schools