After “13 Reasons Why” premiered on Netflix in 2017, the series controversially sparked a much-needed conversation about teen suicide.
New findings from researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio suggest that there may be a direct correlation between the debut of the series and a 19-year spike in suicide among boys aged 10 to 17 in the U.S.
According to The New York Times, “there were 195 more youth suicides than would have been expected in the nine months following the show’s March 2017 release. In April 2017 alone, 190 U.S. tweens and teens took their own lives.”
However, the five-year study can’t exactly prove if the show was the “reason” why. Netflix does not release ratings for original content to the public, so there is currently no way to track the viewership of the series.
“This is a critically important topic, and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly,” a Netflix spokesperson said of the study. Netflix added that they have even taken additional steps to promote resources for suicide prevention with a cast message.
“13 Reasons Why’ is a fictional series that tackles tough, real-world issues taking a look at sexual assault, substance abuse, suicide and more. By shedding a light on these difficult topics, we hope our show can help viewers start a conversation. But if you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult. And if you ever feel you need someone to talk with, reach out to a parent, a friend, a school counselor or an adult you trust, call a local helpline or go to 13reasonswhy.info. Because the minute you start talking about it, it gets easier.”