13 Reasons Why: The Danger of the Popular Netflix Serie About Suicide
Author: Staff | Source: Catholic.net
Several specialists warned about the dangers of the new Netflix series "13 Reasons Why", which tells the story of a 17-year-old teenager who commits suicide and points out a group of people, the 13 "reasons", for which she decided to end her life.
The series is based on the novel of the same name, which tells the story of Hannah Baker, who does not leave a note explaining her suicide but a group of cassettes in which she refers to what she did or stopped doing, each of the people to whom is responsible for her death.
The creators of the series point out that they want to help deal with the problem of suicide, but several experts expressed their concerns about it.
Leah Murphy, International Youth ministry Life Teen, says in "At no time in the series is the issue of mental illness and the idea that the people in Hannah's environment are responsible for his death is left in the audience."
Murphy highlights this fact because "The 90% of suicides are committed by people who have diagnosed mental illnesses".
"These health problems require much more than the presence of a good friend or the absence of some serious problems: they require professional and serious help."
The expert also regrets that the protagonist of the series is showed as a kind of "heroic martyr" who leaves a lesson and a legacy. A suicidal, she said, "does not become a hero or is empowered by identifying the people around her as the reasons for her suicide."
Chelsea Voboril, director of Religious education at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Smithville, Missouri, told CNA – the English agency of the ACI group – that she saw the series with some teenagers and worried that the 13 reasons exposed were considered by young people as "legitimate" for Hannah to commit suicide.
Voboril commented that she held a debate with teenagers with whom they commented that in the process towards her suicide, the protagonist never approached her parents or a professional to talk about what was happening to him.
At the end of the conversation, the specialist asked the young people who want to see the series, to do it with their parents or an adult responsible and urged that "people whose conscience is not yet well formed or can be influenced by some of the big issues, I would simply ask you to avoid it."
Owen Stockden, spokesperson for Living Works, a group specialized in training to deal with suicide, told CNA that one of his greatest concerns with the Series is the lack of adequate responses from adults, especially teachers and school counsellors.
"In the series Hannah's counselor inefficiently responds to her ideas about suicide," Stockden said.
Catholic teacher and writer Barbara Nicolosi told her turn that in none of the characters is appreciated a transcendent dimension and is clear the absence of God.
"The series wants to attribute all the problems of young people to social networks and bullying, but it does not consider these to be symptomatic things. The loss of faith, the loss of the conviction of God's personal love, the loss of the sense of eternity, all these things make suicide a logical response to suffering. Our boys are not fools." she explained to CNA.
For the Catholic psychologist who gives counseling at St. Raphael in Denver, Dr. Jim Langley, it's funny that the series shows Hannah's parents as people who love her a lot but at the same time ignore what happens to her at school.
"It is important for parents to play an active role in their children's lives, even if it is considered a priority to be independent from their parents, which is healthy.
However, parents have to be involved with them and let them know that they Matter and worry. Don't be like Hannah's parents who seem to be absent in the series, "encouraged the specialist.
Some experts also warned of the fact that the series does not follow several of the "Recommendations for reporting a suicide", a list of media guidelines that has been prepared by experts and journalists.
The specialists recommend avoiding sensationalist headlines and ask not to describe in detail the suicide, because there is the danger that other suicides emerge that seek to copy the same.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 24. Studies also show that suicide can generate others there in the communities where they happen.