Remove Netflix show "13 Reasons Why"

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Suicide is a very serious and final decision that people make when they feel they are out of options and out of hope, there are many times in life when people are at higher risk for attempting suicide and we (society in general, schools, family, churches etc.) need to be careful and educated about how to best address this issue.

The popular Netflix TV show "13 Reasons Why" is based off a short novel and graphically depicts a 17-year-old female taking her life after being bullied, slut-shamed, and sexually assaulted. This show glamorizes and graphically shows a completed suicide in high definition and the girl blames her classmates for her suicide and it seemingly tells the tale that there are justified reasons to end your life.

I've been prompted to start this petition because I've seen too many copycat suicide attempts and completed suicides wherein they write or talk about 13 Reasons Why. Over the last few weeks all adolescent psychiatric hospitals in Utah have been at capacity, and teenagers are in emergency rooms waiting for a place in treatment to become available. As an admissions director in one of these hospitals I have spoken to adolescents and adults who were triggered by this TV show for the suicide content, bullying content, and sexual assault scenes. I have talked to parents and other family members who are becoming secondary survivors of attempted suicide, who feel at a loss for what to do and where to get help. 

The TV show does not explain that there are multiple ways to get help and treatment for mental health issues, it does not prompt a safe and educated conversation about suicide and suicide prevention, it does not offer phone numbers of places to call if you are suicidal (1800-suicide is a good one), and one of the biggest issues is it does not address the finality of death. This is the story of a girl who is dead and she gets her "revenge" and "justice" by the spreading of her recorded tapes. However, once you are dead and once you have committed suicide, you are not around to watch the fall-out, you are not around to watch your funeral or your family or you school grieve, you are gone. 13 Reasons Why hits home to many adolescents but does not properly explain that once you are gone and there is no coming back.

Ultimately I would like to see this TV show removed from Netflix and for an apology from the creators for triggering so many attempted and completed suicides. I would also like a statement about how to properly discuss suicide, resources for those struggling and their families, and resources for post-suicide help for the survivors. 

At the very least I would like to see information about suicide prevention and hotline phone numbers that people can call if they feel hopeless at the beginning and end of every episode, and  a spoken warning from Netflix that this TV show is graphic and an extreme caution is given to anyone who is not in a safe place or struggles with depression. 

 



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