Doctor Urges Parents to Discuss “13 Reasons Why” with Kids

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Many schools this spring sent out warnings to parents about the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why”, a show about a girl who commits suicide. Dr. Eric Spiegel, a psychiatrist with St. Louis Children’s Hospital, says there is serious subject matter there, including rape, but that doesn’t mean children should be forbidden from watching it.

“I have never found it to be effective to forbid children from doing much of anything, unless it’s super dangerous. I think if anything that probably increases the ratings for Netflix,” he says.

That said, Dr. Spiegel doesn’t think parents have to sit through all 13 episodes with their kids, but be ready to discuss.

“Being able to talk to your 12-year-old about rape, talk to your 10-year-old about suicide, are important things to be able to do as a parent,” he says.

Spiegel says suicide contagion is a concern. That often happens when there is a high-profile suicide in a community, especially one with media coverage or big memorials, and then you see a rash of other suicides that follow. He says it’s important to let kids know that most people who feel suicidal do get help and go on to live their lives.

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