GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – If you spend any time with children who are between the ages of middle school to college, they’re all talking about “13 Reasons Why” …and parents need to know about it. Bob VandePol is with Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, and he joined Maranda to talk about the new series on Netflix.
The show is about a high school student who commits suicide, and leaves behind 13 tapes that describe the 13 reasons she decided to take her own life.
VandePol says studies show that some kids are influenced by violence, whether on TV or what they see on the internet; therefore, putting these kids at a greater risk.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for those between the ages of 14 and 25. Some tips for parents and educators include not sensationalizing death by suicide, not blaming one person, and make sure you are not shaming someone who is seeking help. VandePol also suggests that when talking with teens, don’t duck the conversation. Conversations help decrease the risk. You should support teens if they are seeking help and let teens know you will be there for them.
Also, acknowledge that 90% of those who die by suicide have a disease called depression. Depression is treatable, but there is nothing glamorous about depression. This mental health discussion was unmentioned in the Netflix series.
For more suggestions and resources, see the video above.