Another Study Reveals that Teenage Suicide Increased After the Release of 13 REASONS WHY

Another Study Reveals that Teenage Suicide Increased After the Release of 13 REASONS WHY

By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer

Update as of 5.5.2019: 13 REASONS WHY led 12-year-old Jessica Scatterson to commit suicide after watching the show. Now, her mother boldly speaks out against the detrimental consequences the series has on children.


The Netflix drama series 13 REASONS WHY that chronicles 13 reasons why a teenage girl decided to commit suicide is exposed again after a new study was released. On Monday, a study revealed devastating findings of rising suicide rates after the series had premiered.

“The study was conducted at several universities, hospitals and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health. NIMH also funded the study,” Yahoo reported. 13 REASONS WHY released on March 31, 2017, and the study found that “the rate of suicide in April 2017 was 28.9 percent higher among U.S. youth ages 10 to 17 than would be expected based on suicide counts and trends observed in previous years.”

While this study couldn’t make “direct causal” links between the show and the rise of suicide, the residual ramifications of the shows release are becoming more and more clear. One study did show that teenagers who watched the entirety of season 2 of 13 REASONS WHY responded that they were less likely to harm themselves or commit suicide. However, for those that didn’t watch all 13 hours of season 2, the young adults were more suicidal.

Netflix does give a “content warning” if someone hovers over the 13 REASONS WHY title that reads, “this series contains scenes that viewers may find disturbing, including graphic depictions of sexual assault, substance abuse, and suicide. If you or anyone you know needs help finding support or crisis resources, please go to 13ReasonsWhy.info for more information.” Yet, anyone with access to Netflix can go forward with watching the series.

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings doesn’t seem to be concerned with this as he said, “13 REASONS WHY has been enormously popular and successful. It’s engaging content. It is controversial, but nobody has to watch it.”

If children are truly dying because of series impact, calling the show “controversial” doesn’t even come close to what it is.

As reported, “the NIH-backed researchers said [that] their findings ‘should serve as a reminder to be mindful of the possible unintended impacts of the portrayal of suicide, and as a call to the entertainment industry and the media to use best practices when engaging with this topic.’” Movieguide® also previously warned about 13 REASONS WHY and encouraged parents to not let their teenagers view it.

Suicide stories and depictions are serious and can be detrimental to susceptible viewers. One family lost their daughter to suicide after she watched the series. The parents shared their story in a must-see video.

Currently, Netflix is working on season 3.

For more resources on exercising discernment when it comes to content concerns, read Movieguide® founder Dr. Ted Baehr’s book, The Culture-Wise Family. For related articles, click here and here.