Yesterday, a study was revealed suggesting there’s a link between Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and a spike in teen suicide. The study, which was conducted by National Institutes of Health, had researchers suggesting the show has led to many “copycat” suicides.
Now, Netflix is responding to the study with a statement of their own.
The National Institutes of Health study found that in the month following the show’s March 2017 debut, there was a 28.9% suicide increase in young Americans ages 10-17. According to NPR, those numbers reflected the highest spike in teen suicide of any given month within the five year period the researchers surveyed.
“The results of this study should raise awareness that young people are particularly vulnerable to the media,” study co-author Lisa Horowitz says. “All disciplines, including the media, need to take good care to be constructive and thoughtful about topics that intersect with public health crises.”
Now, Netflix has released a statement in regards to the new study’s suggestion.
“We’ve just seen this study and are looking into the research, which conflicts with last week’s study from the University Of Pennsylvania,” a spokesperson said. “This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly.”
The study the spokesperson is referencing was conducted by the University Of Pennsylvania in April. The study surveyed 729 adults between the ages of 18 and 29 once the second season premiered in May 2018.
This study suggests the opposite, as Netflix’s spokesperson states, as it claims watching the second season of the series made viewers less likely to be at risk of self-harm or suicide.
“They were actually better off than if they hadn’t watched it,” Dan Romer, study co-author and research director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, says.
“But we’ve learned that there are some young people who can see positive things in a story like this,” he continued.
While the numbers suggest different implications, it is important to note that the University of Pennsylvania’s study examined young adults ages 18-29, and not younger viewers ages 10-17.
Romer pointed to the “hopeful ending” as the reason the show can positively affect viewers.
“That’s a hopeful message,” he says. “Even though you’re plagued by thoughts of suicide and guilt, you can move past it.”
More on Netflix and 13 Reasons Why
“13 Reasons Why has been enormously popular and successful,” Hastings said during the Netflix annual shareholder meeting, reports Deadline. “It’s engaging content.”
“It is controversial,” the CEO continued. “But nobody has to watch it.”
13 Reasons Why Season 3 is set to premiere in 2019, and we already know some details about the upcoming episodes.
Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah Baker in the series, shared on Instagram she will not be joining the cast for season three.
“This show will always be a special part of my life, and regardless of whether Hannah is there or not, I know that I will continue to strive to do work that is meaningful and has a positive impact,” Langford wrote.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, there is help to be found. Please consider these online resources and talk to your regular doctor about your symptoms:
- The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. You can also reach out to Crisis Text Line by texting GO to 741741.
- MentalHealth.gov – Get Immediate Help
- ImAlive – Online Crisis Network
- International Association For Suicide Prevention – Resources
- The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America
- The National Alliance On Mental Illness
- American Psychiatric Association – Finding Help
- National Institute Of Mental Health
- American Psychological Association – Psychologist locator