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Association Between Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why & Suicide Rates in US

We wanted to bring to your attention a recent NIMH-supported study, “Association Between the Release of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and Suicide Rates in the United States: An Interrupted Times Series Analysis” in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The study concluded there was a correlation between the release of season 1 of13 Reasons Why and an increase in monthly suicide rates among U.S. youth aged 10 to 17 years. The study could not determine whether watching13 Reasons Why actually motivated any viewers to kill themselves and makes it hard to draw conclusions about causation.

The study, while not conclusive, does make an important point that young people are particularly vulnerable to the way suicide is portrayed in the media.  We wanted to provide you with resources to talk about issues raised in the series that may be triggering for some people. We hope the findings from this study will serve as a reminder to the entertainment industry to be thoughtful of the possible unintended impacts of the portrayal of suicide, and as a call to use best practices when engaging with this topic.

We have compiled the following resources:

Additionally, NAMI is taking the following actions and will update the field with more information as it becomes available:

  • Reaching out to other organizations regarding their perspective on the study and insights on any response they might be considering
  • Reaching out to Netflix to get information regarding the timing of the season 3 release
  • Providing a toolkit of resources in advance of season 3

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