As many of you may have watched the recent hit series ’13 Reasons Why’ there is no doubt that not only is it being discussed within every high school, but it has also been the hot topic of discussion amongst German doctors.
The hit series is about the main character- Hannah Baker- who leaves 13 tapes behind with 13 reasons as to why she ended her life. So why has this TV series amongst all others which contain suicide stirring up conflict amongst not only the media but qualified doctors as well?
Although many praise the series in raising awareness to several issues in the duration of the show such as- substance abuse, rape, bullying and ultimately suicide, it has received many criticism. Two psychiatric societies and a paediatrics association in Germany have condemned the series saying that it may trigger so called copycat suicides among troubled young viewers. In addition to this, Germany’s Professional Association of Paediatricians has called for the ‘immediate cancellation’ of the series and it is even said that ‘suicidal crises and even suicides’ thought to be linked to the series have already been reported to the psychiatric societies.
‘International guidelines’ on reporting and depicting suicide were not adhered to as due to the graphic enactment of the suicide it implied that her decision was a ‘logical consequence’ of her suffering and her classmates turning her locker into a shrine romanticised the suicide.
Is this TV series really raising awareness for these subjects which are not easily or often touched or is it blindly causing more problems?
References: BMJ 15th July 2017