Can television shows increase risk of suicide for teens?


It’s just a story, and kids know that, right? But a new study says television shows can influence teenagers in ways the shows’ creators don’t foresee.

When the popular show “13 Reasons Why,” about possible reasons for a teenage girl’s suicide, came out, parents and mental health experts feared it could be dangerous. And, according to the study, they may be right.

A significant number of suicidal teens treated in the psychiatric E.R. said that watching the show increased their suicide risk.

Related Content: Netflix increases warnings for series about suicide ’13 Reasons Why’

Of the 87 teens they surveyed, half had watched the show; of them, 21 said it heightened their risk.

Now, the show is in its second season, and has a disclaimer urging young adults to watch the show with a trusted adult. Though, Netflix, the producer, says that their report showed that 71% of the teens who watched talked to a parent about the show, this independent survey said most do not.

Of course, the new study isn’t saying that teens who watch will attempt suicide. But, those who are in a precarious state could be influenced: Nobody wants that.

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