A new study shows that Netflix's series "13 Reasons Why," in which a teenage girl commits suicide, lead to a marked increase in suicide rates among teenagers.
The study by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found 195 more suicides than expected in the nine months after the series premiered in March 2017. In April, 2017, more suicides occurred than in previous nine Aprils.
Although the show focuses on the death of Hannah (Katherine Langford), teenage boys represent the only demographic with a significant spike in suicide rates. Suicides among teen boys jumped 28.9% in the month following the release.
The study, which was released Monday, was funded by the National Institute of Health.
After initial concern that the series could inspire real-life suicides, Netflix added trigger warnings before each episode. They also created "Beyond the Reasons," a docuseries which addressed many of the issues raised in the scripted series.
The Nation Association of School Psychologists issued this statement on Monday:
"We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series. Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies. They may easily identify with the experiences portrayed and recognize both the intentional and unintentional effects on the central character.”
Netflix's response: "This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly."
Season 3 of "13 Reasons Why" will debut later this year on Netflix. The Parents Television Council opposed the renewal, saying, the network "potentially has the blood of children on their hands." Netflix's CEO responded, "No one has to watch it."
A previous study found that online searches about suicide surged after the show premiered. It concluded that the series "has both increased suicide awareness while unintentionally increasing suicidal ideation."