Netflix 'looking into' study showing spike in suicides after 13 Reasons Why

A study finds a rise in suicide among teen boys in the month after the show was released.

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Erin Carson
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Netflix has addressed a study looking at teen suicide and its show 13 Reasons Why.

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On the heels of a study exploring a rise in teen suicide among boys following the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why in 2017, the streaming service says it's looking into the research.

"This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly," Netflix said.

The study, out Monday from the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that the suicide rate among boys 10-17 increased in the month after the show came out. The study didn't confirm whether any of those boys had watched the show.

"The release of 13 Reasons Why was associated with a significant increase in monthly suicide rates among US youth aged 10 to 17 years," the study concludes. "Caution regarding the exposure of children and adolescents to the series is warranted." 

Netflix said the research is at odds with another recent study, this one conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. "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 by email. 

That study found that "viewers who stopped watching the second season exhibited greater suicide risk and less optimism about the future than those who continued to the end." The study went on to say that those who watched to the end reported a decline in "suicide ideation and self-harm." They also might be more likely to help a suicidal person. 

The premise of 13 Reasons Why related to the suicide of a teenage girl. In May 2017, Netflix said it would include an additional warning at the beginning of the first episode, as well as "strengthen the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter, including the URL 13ReasonsWhy.info."

If you're struggling with negative thoughts or suicidal feelings, here are 13 suicide and crisis intervention hotlines you can use to get help.

You can also call these numbers:

US: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. 
UK: The Samaritans can be reached at 116 123. 
AU: Lifeline can be reached at 13 11 14.