Netflix responds to study that claimed spike in teen suicides after ’13 Reasons Why’

A new report looked at the number of teen suicides in the aftermath of the show's release

Netflix has responded after a study was published that claimed the suicide rate among teenagers rose after the release of 13 Reasons Why.

On Monday (April 29), the Journal Of The American Academy Of Child And Adolescent Psychiatry published the report, which was funded by the National Institute Of Health.

It claimed that 195 more suicides than expected occurred in the nine months after the first season’s March 2017 release, with more suicides occurring in April 2017 than in any April in the previous nine years. Although the suicide of a teenage girl is the focus of the show, the study showed a spike in suicides among teenage boys.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Netflix responded to the report, saying: “We’ve just seen this study and are looking into the research, which conflicts with last week’s study from the University Of Pennsylvania. This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly.”

The referenced study conducted by the University Of Pennsylvania claimed that those who watched the show to the end were less likely to be at risk of self-harm or suicide, even when compared to people who hadn’t watched the programme at all.

The hit Netflix show, based on Jay Asher’s 2007 novel of the same name, tells the story of a 17-year-old girl called Hannah Baker. Hannah commits suicide, leaving a box of tapes explaining her reasons why before Clay Jensen listens through them all in his attempt to come to terms with her death.

Despite criticism from parents and mental health charities, the programme was given a second season in 2018. Reviewing the second batch of episodes, NME wrote: “Those who say it’s run its course are missing the point. 13 Reasons Why was never about one girl’s suicide. It’s about endemic problems with society and shining a light on the shit young people have to deal with on a daily basis.”

Netflix confirmed in June 2018 that the show would return for a third season. A release date has yet to be confirmed.

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