13 Reasons Why – More Harmful than Helpful?

Pop Culture Uncovered

Netflix’s presentation of 13 Reasons Why has been out for well over a month now, and the response has been controversial, to say the least. While critics and viewers praised the performances and applauded the series for discussing an often-taboo subject, a backlash occurred from parents and educators. Almost immediately, some began to defend the show, accusing the detractors of being “too sensitive” or “overbearing”; to the fans, the uproar was no different than controversial media from decades past.

I’m here to explain why that dismissive approach is wrong.

This critique is not about helicopter parents “shielding their children from reality” or conservative educators censoring the media. Many complaints against 13 Reasons Why come directly from the mental health community and are based on very real psychological concerns. For several reasons, this presentation of suicide may have the opposite effect intended: instead of helping people understand suicide…

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