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Delaware Headlines

Beau Biden Foundation & Jed Foundation discuss Netflix series "13 Reasons Why"

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The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” based on a fictional young adult novel, chronicles the events that lead to one teen’s suicide and contains depictions of mental illness, sexual assault and cyberbullying.

 

It's second season is now out and leading a number of groups to revisit their concerns about how the show addresses these issues

 

 

The Beau Biden Foundation, which works to protect children and make sure they are free from the threat of abuse and the Jed Foundation, a New York City-based organization specializing in teen suicide prevention, are among those that are speaking out about “13 Reasons Why.”

 

They're joining parents, mental health professionals and educators in again raising serious concerns about appropriate ways to communicate with teens and pre-teens about these issues -  and the show’s appropriateness for these age groups.

The Jed Foundation's director of high school programing Sarah Gorman, says it’s offering resources to help address the issues the show raises.

“We developed a “toolkit” for educators, for parents, for teens and for the media. We participated in creating this “toolkit” with an international coalition of suicide prevention organizations. And so that’s available at 13reasonswhytoolkit.org,” said Gorman.

 

Beau Biden Foundation executive director Patty Dailey Lewis says having a show about these issues isn’t necessarily bad thing, if approached properly.

 

“I think it’s important that parents understand that these sorts of depictions have to be part of an overall family conversation with regard to cyber-bullying, appropriate internet use, sexual assault, all of the things you mentioned,” Lewis said.

 
 
According to a new CDC report, suicide rates rose in all but one state, including Delaware, between 1999 and 2016, with increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity.

Delaware's rate was up 5.9% -- far less than the US average of 25.4%, according to the report. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental health crisis in Delaware, you can call the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS') 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 1-800-652-2929 in New Castle County. Or 1-800-345-6785 in Kent and Sussex counties.

You can see a breakdown of the state-by-state percentages of suicide and read the CDC report here.

You can also get more information about the Beau Biden Foundation here and about the Jed Foundation here.