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Counselor’s Corner: Talk to Your Child About “13 Reasons Why”

As summer begins and children have more free time in front of the screen, parents need to be aware of Netflix’s popular new show, 13 Reasons Why. Your pre-teen is probably aware of this teen drama about teenager Clay Jensen who finds a mysterious box on his doorstep. Inside, he discovers cassette tapes sent from his friend, classmate, and crush, Hannah Baker. Hannah committed suicide two weeks earlier.

The cassettes act as a diary explaining the 13 reasons why she took her life. Each tape is focused on a specific classmate and the role they played in Hannah’s decision to kill herself.

The program is geared toward teens and pre-teens. As parents, we can sometimes be unaware of what our children are looking at online. Along with the topic of suicide, the show covers topics related to sexual assault and alcohol/drug abuse.

Please understand some of the scenes are shocking and graphic – especially for young viewers. Take a look at this program and ask your child if they have seen it. It is not for the faint of heart, and if your child has watched a few episodes, they may have some questions. 13 Reasons Why is adapted from the 2007 young adult novel of the same name by Jay Asher.

If you would like information about suicide prevention please visit the sites below:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Reach Out

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions at (714) 999-5055, Ext. 1456.

Jill Thomas, MFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Fairmont Private Schools Counselor

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