When Netflix released its suicide-focused teen series 13 Reasons Why earlier this year, parents, administrators and doctors alike exploded with worry. From Colorado to Canada, schools banned talk of the show and the book it’s based on. Mental health advocates warned about the potential for copycat suicides, and by May at least one mother had blamed the program for inspiring her son to try to kill himself. But there weren’t many hard numbers about the show’s effect on people who may be considering self-harm—until now. Related: Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Will Return for Season Two A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that Google searches for suicide-related terms climbed after the debut of 13 Reasons Why. While researchers saw a spike in queries focused on public health awareness, like “suicide hotline,” searches involving ideation, like “how to kill yourself,” also rose. (Ideation is the process of forming an idea.) The study didn’t look at whether any search terms came before actual attempts. But it left its author, John W. Ayers, an associate research professor at San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health, concerned and demanding that the show be removed immediately and edited before it reaches… Read full this story
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