Civic News

What the Beau Biden Foundation wants you to know about ’13 Reasons Why’

The hit show can trigger teens struggling with mental health issues — and we need to talk about it.

Supportive friends can play an important role in mental wellness. (Video screenshot)

Since Netflix released Season 2 of “13 Reasons Why” last week, the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children has stepped up to support concerned parents who wonder if the show might be dangerous for kids, especially those who may suffer from depression, anxiety disorders or cyberbullying.

“13 Reasons Why,” if you don’t know, is a fictional series that depicts the series of events that leads to a teenager’s suicide, including cyberbullying, physical violence and mental illness issues. It’s an award-winning but controversial series with an active young fandom that creates hundreds of fan-fiction stories around it. Health and suicide prevention experts agree that there is a risk that the show can trigger depressed teens, leading to “copycat” suicides.

While there’s been plenty of condemnation over the show, the Foundation is taking a more pragmatic approach — they want folks to talk about it, especially with the young people in their lives.

In an effort to counteract the potential risk, the Foundation recommends parents and teens explore the JED Foundation’s resources that are specifically designed for discussing “13 Reasons Why,” including the 13 Reasons Why Toolkit. JED also offers a 24-hour Crisis Text Line, which can be accessed by texting “START” to 741-741.

Last month, Friends 4 Friends Fest raised awareness of the issues of suicide prevention and mental illness, with a focus on fighting the fear of having open discussions about the topic. The UD-based organization continues to hold meeting and events, which are announced on their Facebook Page.

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