While some people feel that shows that deal with teen mental health issues can plunge some at-risk teens further into despair, often it opens up discussions in families, and emboldens teens to come forward and talk. While some have criticized the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, the head of Paramount Television, Amy Powell, told Forbes that the goal of the show was to start people talking.
“Kids and their parents weren’t connecting about this provocative topic, and they felt isolated from each other on both sides. We struck right into the heart of the controversy to say to parents and kids, ‘Talk to each other. Talk to someone.’”
The CEO of Kaiser Permanente, who also spoke on a panel with Powell, said, “most of us have [a mental health issue], or we’re one degree from it. It’s all around us, but no one wants to talk about it.”
Forbes also reports that as Paramount is gearing up for season three of 13 Reasons, the studio is “working with Netflix to make it possible for viewers to engage immediately with a crisis center if they’re having suicidal thought and to get the help they need.”
In other news surrounding the series 13 Reasons Why, News 8000 in Wisconsin reported of an event that young people could attend at a local YMCA called 13 Reasons Why You Matter. As the mental health director of the La Crosse YMCA says, “Sometimes adults may think it’s just a ‘teen thing’ and it may not be as serious as what they’re thinking, so when I talk to teens, I coach them to keep asking for help, and if you feel like somebody hasn’t heard you, ask somebody else.”