Mental health professional: 'Why we need to pay attention to 13 Reasons Why'

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With the school year coming to an end, a Baton Rouge mental health professional has an important note for parents regarding a new show on Netflix.

"13 Reasons Why" is based on a novel with the same title. It tells the story of a girl, Hannah, who leaves behind tapes explaining the 13 reasons why she committed suicide.

"Be warned that this series could be very triggering for those with a trauma history, or those who know someone who committed suicide," says Suzanne Jones, board certified Family Psychiatric mental Health Nurse Practitioner and a Licenses Professional Counselor.

The experiences of Hannah and other students at Liberty High School include bullying, cyber-bullying, sexual harassment and assault, depression and suicide.

"The issues raised in '13 Reasons Why' are disturbing and difficult to talk about: sexual objectification and harassment, victim-blaming, and the 'guy-code' that makes good guys look the other way and say nothing," Jones says. "Many of the scenes were eerily similar to the stories I've heard from clients."

Preventing your child from watching the show might not be possible, so Jones stresses the importance of using the series as an opportunity to have a conversation with your child.

"Sometimes our kids won't talk to us because they want to avoid lectures and judgment, but often they just don't know how to put what they are experiencing into words," she says. "They feel like they 'should' be able to figure things out and often the only thing we adults see is the push-pull of 'leave me alone but please help me'!"

In an article, Jones lists some questions parents can ask as a way of getting the discussion started.

CLICK HERE to read her article 

There are additional resources available for those who have experienced trauma such as what is discussed on the show.

  • Crisis Intervention Center: (225) 924-1431
  • Cope Team: (225) 765-8900
  • Sexual Trauma Awareness Recovery (STAR): (225) 615-7093
  • Crossroads Professional Services: (225) 341-4147
  • Family Focus: (225) 231-7155

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