Research You Can Use: "13 Reasons Why"

A new study by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found a strong association between the release of the show “13 Reasons Why” and suicide rates among 10- to 17-year-olds.

A recent study revealed approximately 195 more youth suicide deaths than expected were associated with the television series “13 Reasons Why” in the nine months immediately following the series release.

The study, led by the behavioral health experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital with collaborators, demonstrated that following the series release on March 31, 2017, the month of April 2017 had the highest suicide rate during the five-year study period among 10- to 17-year-olds. However, there was no significant association between the series’ release and suicide in individuals 18 and older.

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"13 Reasons Why" News for Caregivers

This study demonstrates that parents should be cautious about exposing youth to "13 Reasons Why". With a third season of the series expected to air soon, continued surveillance is needed to monitor potential consequences on suicide rates in association with viewing the series.

“It is possible to portray suicide in a way that cultivates hope by increasing awareness of available support for those who struggle with suicidal thoughts or behaviors,” said John Ackerman, PhD, a co-author on the study and suicide prevention coordinator of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s.