Thirteen reasons why: new episodes, debate still ongoing

Since 18th May 2018, new episodes of the TV series “Thirteen reasons why” are available on Netflix. Anna Baker’s story has divided the scientific community about suicide and how this difficult topic should be discussed by and through the media.

Different scientific papers have been published about this topic. On “Health communication” it has recently been published the article “#13ReasonsWhy Health Professionals and Educators are Tweeting: A Systematic Analysis of Uses and Perceptions of Show Content and Learning Outcomes” that analyses more than 700 health professionals’ and educators’ tweets about the Netflix show. In October 2017, JAMA Internal Medicine published the editorial “A Call for Social Responsibility and Suicide Risk Screening, Prevention, and Early Intervention Following the Release of the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why” linked to the research letter “Internet Searches for Suicide Following the Release of 13 Reasons Why”. The Authors of the letter reported that suicide-related internet searches increased following the release of the series 13ReasonsWhy, even though it’s impossible to discriminate whether  the internet searches had been performed by scientists, teachers or people contemplating suicide.

On the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, the article “13 Reasons Why: A Trigger for Teen Suicide?” discusses the controversy raised by the Netflix series and expressed by school officials, healthcare providers, and parents. This paper, as many dissemination websites, such as Huffington Post and Washington Post, suggests that the series may romanticize suicide and eventually lead to possible negative effects. On the other hand, hypotheses have been suggested that the series may help specialists and people from the community to discuss about the difficult topic of teenagers’ suicide.

In any case, certainly the series fostered the debate about suicide.

To know more, contact EPA- SSSP e-mail address:


Image from Pixabay

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