NewBridge Expert on Adolescent Mental Health Addresses ’13 Reasons Why’
Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” has sparked serious concerns that the fictional series depicting a teenager’s decision to commit suicide could inadvertently lead adolescents to view suicide as an option when they’re going through hard times.
“It can especially be triggering for people who have thought about suicide or made an attempt, because it can bring back up those dark feelings they fought their way out of,” said Mary Vineis, NewBridge Services Director of Community Response and Education.
Vineis has been fielding calls from more than a half dozen school districts seeking resources for parents and students.
Adolescents are watching, so Vineis suggests parents turn it into a teachable moment.
“It’s a conversation to be had. It’s important for parents to to talk to their children about mental illness, depression and suicide, and assure them that there are numerous resources to help them cope with difficult situations,” she said.
If a teenager, especially a middle schooler, is going to watch it, Vineis suggests parents watch it with them. “There are some scenes you may want to fast-forward through,” she said.
NewBridge can help children and adults overcome anxiety and depression. Contact NewBridge at services@NewBridge.org or call (973) 316-9333. If you are having thoughts of suicide, text “START” to 741741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
SAVE and the Jed Foundation, two nonprofits dedicated to suicide prevention, created talking points to help parents, teachers and others who interact with adolescents talk about suicide and the movie’s portrayal of it. Go to https://www.save.org/blog/tips-watching-new-netflix-series-13-reasons/.
NewBridge Services, a 501c(3) nonprofit, is a premier provider of counseling services, housing and educational programs in northern New Jersey serving 10,000 adults and seniors last year alone. NewBridge treats mental illnesses and addictions; teaches skills for coping with stress, grief and challenging relationships; builds and manages affordable housing; offers school-based programs that teach children and adolescents resiliency skills for healthy emotional development; helps young adults succeed in their education and prepare for careers; and supports seniors so they can remain independent. Throughout its more than 50-year history, NewBridge has remained true to its mission of bringing balance to people’s lives by tracking shifts in communities’ needs and providing innovative, effective programs to meet them.