Staff from Headspace Bathurst and Orange presented a half-hour session for teachers at Bathurst High School, regarding Netflix’s newest, yet controversial television series 13 Reasons Why.
The show, which portrays suicide and rape, was released on Netflix on March 31, 2017, and has received its fair share of critics.
Key concerns raised by Bathurst High’s staff at the session was how can you tell if a young person is vulnerable to suicide and how can staff talk to young people about the 13 Reasons Why in ways that would be helpful.
“Teachers also commented that they are seeing friends of someone who is vulnerable, speaking to them about their concerns for their friends,” Marathon Health executive manager of health services Bryan Hoolahan said.
“This is great thing to see and headspace Bathurst staff handed out information sheets about “If My Friend Is Not OK”.”
Clinical lead at headspace Dubbo, Ann-Maree Hartley, said 13 Reasons Why doe not adhere to guidelines set out by Mindframe Guidelines for Australia Media.
“Marathon Health and headspace Bathurst, Orange, Cowra and Dubbo support and follow the Mindframe guidelines for Australia media which outlines how the media should discuss suicide in an effort to keep all our communities safe,” she said.
“13 Reasons Why doesn’t adhere to these guidelines.
“The show discusses and graphically depicts the means by which the lead character took their life. The show also doesn’t include current Australian contact numbers for help seeking as is required by Australian media laws and the Mindframe guidelines.
“13 Reasons Why offers little education and insight into the psychological or sociological perspectives of suicidality.
“For someone who is in so much pain, their brain can misguide them and give them the wrong messages about this show.
“The important message is not to present suicide as a reasonable, if extreme, response. Young people are more at risk for attempted and subsequently dying by suicide than children or adults.
Ms Hartley believes 13 Reasons Why does not show what people can do to help prevent a death by suicide and that people may start to identify with the characters, resulting in reliving painful memories.
Mr Hoolahan said while many young people are currently watching the series, it is important young people do not watch it alone.
If someone is immediate danger, please call emergency services at 000.
For further advice, headspace Bathurst can be contacted at 6338 1100.