OTTAWA–A good deal of the concern expressed by Ontario school boards about the Netflix show ’13 Reasons Why’ relates to the show’s depiction of teen suicide.
Critics say while it’s a positive thing that so many people are talking about the complex issue, there are several troubling aspects about the series.
Andrea Poncia with the Suicide Prevention Network was a guest on the Carol Anne Meehan show Thursday. Her major concern with the show is that it’s not a constructive discussion about the issues around teen suicide, which is a topic that she says needs to be talked about.
“It’s okay to talk about the struggles and the challenges of maybe finding it hard to connect with adults at that time of your life and how you connect more with your peers, but to do it in a constructive way and to have young people role-modeling as well that they have had success asking for help from adults, and there are ways to promote those connections and to get through things,” said Poncia.
School boards locally and across the province have sent letters to parents warning of the potential triggering effect of the show for vulnerable teens, citing the series’ graphic depiction of a character’s suicide, and a lack of attention on other complex issues like mental illness as well as the seeming absence of trusted adults to help.