Netflix Addresses Study Linking 13 Reasons Why To An Increase In Teen Suicides

The streaming service has said they are "looking into" the new statistics.

Netflix has issued a response to a recent study suggesting the suicide rate among teenagers has risen since the launch of their high school drama 13 Reasons Why.

The streaming service has repeatedly come under fire over the teen series, due to its graphic depiction of teen suicide and self-harm, which some claimed was gratuitous and could lead to copycat cases.

It has now been found that after the show debuted at the end on March 31 2017, the following April saw more deaths by suicide than any April in the last nine years, with a particular rise (28.9%) among teen boys, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

13 Reasons Why debuted in 2017
13 Reasons Why debuted in 2017
Netflix

The same study also revealed that in the nine months after the first series began streaming, there were 195 more suicides than would usually be expected in that period.

Responding to these figures, a Netflix rep told Digital Spy: “We’ve just seen this study and are looking into the research, which conflicts with last week’s study from the University of Pennsylvania.

“This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly.”

The University of Pennsylvania study the streaming service refers to came out last week, and claimed that those who watched both series of 13 Reasons Why in full – and therefore saw the consequences of the teen suicide depicted in the show – were actually at less of a risk of taking their own life or self-harming.

Due to the backlash the first series faced, a warning was then added to the beginning of each episode, aiming to give teens advice about where to turn if they are struggling with suicidal feelings.

The second series was criticised last year over a scene in which a character was graphically sexually assaulted.

A third series of 13 Reasons Why is expected to debut on Netflix later this year.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.