A new study found that the popular Netflix series 13 Reasons Why may be linked to an increase in internet searches about suicide.
According to research published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, searches for suicide went up by 19% in the 19 days following the show's release on Netflix.
After the premiere, the study found, searches for "how to commit suicide" increased by 26%, "commit suicide" searches increased by 23%, and "suicide hotline number" searches went up by 21%.
"13 Reasons Why elevated suicide awareness, but it is concerning that searches indicating suicidal ideation also rose," the study reads.
The show's release at the end of March sparked several conversations about its potential to be a trigger for those at risk for suicide. The show's depiction of a teenage girl's suicide raised concerns amongst mental health experts, particularly over a graphic scene in which she cuts her wrists.
"Young people are not that great at separating fiction from reality," Suicide Awareness Voices of Education's (SAVE) executive director Dan Reidenberg told The Washington Post. "That gets even harder to do when you’re struggling with [suicidal] thoughts."
The study, of course, once again brings up the possible repercussions of intentions to raise awareness about suicide.
In response to the study, Netflix told The Hollywood Reporter, "We always believed this show would increase discussion around this tough subject matter. This is an interesting quasi experimental study that confirms this. We are looking forward to more research and taking everything we learn to heart as we prepare for season 2."
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.
If you are an LGBTQ person thinking about suicide, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.
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