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13 Mental Health Questions about “13 Reasons Why”

     

The realistic portrayal of mental illness in television and movies can be an effective way to reduce stigma around psychiatric issues. But it can be troubling if those portrayals do not show options for treatment. A new Netflix show, 13 Reasons Why, has a large following on social media and has garnered media attention for its stark depictions of bullying, rape and suicide. It has also caused some to express concern that the show is “at odds with the way experts say we should talk about suicide,” a Washington Post article reports. Suicide prevention advocate MollyKate Cline told Teen Vogue, “my problem is that the audience is shown what not to do without examples of what they actually should do.”

What should you do when faced with issues of bullying, depression, trauma and suicide? Seeing these issues in pop culture can help to reduce stigma and shame around mental health, but it is just as important to learn the facts about mental health issues and seek reliable treatment.


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1. How can you prevent depression and anxiety?


2. How common is teen suicide?


3. What are warning signs of suicidal behavior?


4. What are contributing factors that make a person more likely to have suicidal thoughts and behaviors?


5. Is it anyone’s fault if someone dies by suicide?


6. Can friends and family prevent suicide?


If you need help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org and Click to Chat


7. What should I do if a friend seems to have suicidal ideations?


8. What will happen to my friend if I tell an adult that my friend is suicidal?


9. What should I do if I’m thinking about suicide?


10. Why do people self-harm?


11. Is self-harm always a warning sign of suicidal thoughts?


12. What can I do if I know someone is being bullied?


13. Does bullying contribute to suicidal ideation?



Contributors

  • Jennifer B. Dwyer, M.D., Ph.D., APA/APAF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow
  • Swathi Krishna, M.D., SAMHSA Minority Fellow
  • Chandan Khandai, M.D., APA/APAF Leadership Fellow

     

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