"13 Reasons Why," it's the latest Netflix phenomenon. It's also a topic of contention nationwide for its portrayal of teen suicide and depression.
School districts and mental health specialists are issuing warnings about the show's material.
Gowanda Central Schools posted talking points on their Facebook page. They highlight the fact that "13 Reasons Why" is fictional and that counselors, both in schools and on crisis lines, are far more helpful than portrayed in the series.
While some are praising the series for bringing up the topic of teen suicide, schools and counselors want to make sure parents know how to talk about it with their kids.
“Kids are watching it. And even if it's one or two kids, just to put it out there for parents, they have a resource. So they know what topics are coming up and how they can talk to their children about it,” said James Klubek, the superintendent of Gowanda Central School District.
“Our students can be vulnerable on any given day, for any reasons. And especially around suicide, we as adults want to make sure they have the best resources available if they or someone they know is in crisis,” said Olivia Retallack, the Coordinator of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Erie County.
The National Association of School Psychologists issued a statement saying it does not recommend that vulnerable youth watch this series.
Crisis Services also reminding anyone struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts can call them its 24 hour hotline, (716) 834-3131.