The hit Netflix drama “13 Reasons Why,” which has come under fire for its graphic depiction of teen suicide, is reportedly inspiring calls to crisis hotlines.
According to the Guardian, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has reported calls to its Childline counseling service from kids who say the series has triggered memories of suicidal thoughts.
The news comes a day after WRAL reported that the number of calls to the suicide prevention hotline HopeLine in Raleigh, North Carolina nearly tripled since the series debuted. The service received 618 calls in March and more than 1,000 in April. “13 Reasons Why” premiered on March 31.
The Netflix adaptation of the bestselling Jay Asher novel has been criticized primarily for a graphic scene in which the show’s protagonist, played by Katherine Langford, takes her own life. Mental health experts have warned that the depiction could lead to copycat behavior from teen viewers.
“Research shows that exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of death, can be one of the many risk factors that youth struggling with mental health conditions cite as a reason they contemplate or attempt suicide,” the National Association of School Psychologists said in a statement addressing the series last month.
In response to the backlash, Netflix issued a statement on Monday saying it would add an “additional viewer warning card before the first episode as a precaution.” Previously, there had been trigger warnings in place for the three episodes that feature rape scenes and Baker’s suicide
The streaming service also said it had “strengthened the messaging and resource language in the existing cards” by linking to the website 13ReasonsWhy.info, which provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show.
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