What to know about Netflix show addressing teen suicide

Netflix has a new series aimed at teens titled "13 Reasons Why."

BOISE - Netflix recently released an original series aimed at teens called “13 Reasons Why.”

It’s a show parents might want to be aware of because the heavy content and themes the show addresses.

"It's very graphic and the content is very mature,” Dr. Cyndia Glorfield, a counselor at Warm Springs Counseling Center, said. “And I know that there's a lot of adolescents watching it without parental knowledge."

The show is based on a book that tells the tale of a high school student’s suicide and the events that lead to it. It deals with teen suicide, rape and sexual abuse, drug abuse and bullying.

Some say it brings awareness to these issues, other fear it romanticizes them. Glorfield said these are all issues that should be talked about with children and teens.

"I don't think children, especially younger children, understand that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem," she said.

But she also says this show is important for adults to know about because it brings awareness to why adolescents could feel suicidal and might follow through with it, meaning parents and other adults in a child’s life might be able to spot something wrong.

"It's real. I mean those things happen and I think a mistake that parents make is ‘this will never happen to my child. My child will know what to do if they're in this situation.’ And that is not true. It can happen to anyone," Glorfield said.

A study done by the Suicide Prevention Action Network found one in five of Idaho youth attending public high school reported seriously considering suicide. That same study found one in ten reported making at least one attempt.

Glorfield said some typical signs that something isn’t right with your child include isolation, losing interest in activities and not doing well in school.

"If we're aware of these situations and these things going on, we can talk to them,” she said.

She said the most important thing to know is that there is help and treatment options available.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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