Emergency Phone Numbers24-hr Crisis Lines: 855.278.4204 (Santa Clara) | 650.579.0350 (San Mateo) | 415.781.0500 (San Francisco) | 800.273.8255 or Text BAY to 741-741 (National)
Children's Health Council

13 Reasons Why: Important Update

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May 4, 2017, News

Dear Friends of CHC:
 
Just as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why was beginning to air in early April, we sent out a note of concern.

 One month later, we are learning that this is the most talked about show on social media and that it is more concerning than was originally thought. Two IOP teen therapists from CHC’s Adolescent Mental Health Services Department, Dr. Anna Parnes and Jennifer Leydecker advise, “If your kids have watched it or plan to watch it, it’s critical that you watch the program too so you are aware of the content.” For those of you who haven’t heard, the show is a fictional account of a teenage girl, Hannah, who dies by suicide and leaves behind audio tapes outlining the 13 people she blames for her death. We strongly suggest parent caution, monitoring and dialogue about the program and its topics of suicide, survivor guilt, sexual assault and bullying and shaming. 

Many of our friends and community partners have shared outstanding resources and suggestions about this show over the past few days. The call to action that everyone advises is, if your teen has watched or is watching the show, watch it with them and talk about it. By now, even if your child or teen hasn’t watched 13 Reasons Why, they have very likely heard about it from their peers. 

  1. Find out if your child is watching the show.  
  2. If so, take time to watch the show yourself and with your teen.
  3. Start a conversation with them about it.
With this in mind, we are sending you a collection of resources our clinical staff feel can be helpful. We will post these materials and more to our online Resource Library so you have continuous easy access and we will of course continue to post information on our Facebook page.  
 
We want teens to know there are other solutions to anxiety, depression and bullying that do not involve suicide or self harm. The producers and directors of the program are trying to raise awareness of teen mental health issues, but CHC, Stanford, parents, teachers, behavioral healthcare professionals and national suicide prevention organizations are concerned about how the show portrays sensitive topics and how it is impacting young viewers, especially vulnerable youth.
 
If you or someone you know or love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800 273 8255 or contact Crisis Text Line by texting BAY to 741741.
 
Below you’ll find a review of the program from The JED Foundation, a helpful discussion guide from SAVE.org, a discussion of trigger warnings from the show and selected resources from Stanford. 
 
SAVE.org Discussion Guide (developed with Netflix)
Select Mental Health Resources from Stanford
 
Please share this information widely. We value community collaboration and look forward to continuing to work together for the well being of our youth.
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