Mental health charity and ‘Stranger Things’ star warn against watching ’13 Reasons Why’

Australian mental charity headspace has warned that hit Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why contains “dangerous content” .

– Update: The writer of the show has now responded to the claims

13 Reasons Why launched on the streaming service on March 31. It tells the story of a teenage girl who reveals the reasons she committed suicide through a series of tapes sent to members of her peer group.

Since the show debuted, headspace said it has received “a growing numbers of calls and emails directly related to the programme”. The charity said in a warning on its website: “[The show] presents the viewer with very confronting and graphic messaging and imagery inclusive of suicide method and means.”

Meanwhile, the charity’s head Dr Steven Leicester told Australia’s ABC News: “The show actually doesn’t present a viable alternative to suicide. The show doesn’t talk about mental illness or depression, doesn’t name those words. My thoughts about the series are that it’s probably done more harm than any good.”

Actress Shannon Purser – who plays Barb on Stranger Things – has also warned vulnerable viewers to avoid the series.

She tweeted: “I would advise against watching 13 Reasons Why if you currently struggle with suicidal thoughts or self harm/have undergone sexual assault. There are some very graphic scenes in there that could easily trigger painful memories and feelings. Please protect yourselves.”

She added: “There are lots of really good things about the show and I have no doubts that it is important and could be helpful to some. Just be careful.

The author of the book upon which 13 Reasons Why is based has already urged Netflix to commission a second season. It has been reported that 13 Reasons Why is Netflix’s “buzziest ever show” after it generated more tweets in its first week of release than any of the streaming service’s other original series.