A Netflix hit series is starting its second seasons, but just like last year, it’s stirring up a little controversy.
Season 2 of “13 Reasons Why” was released overnight.
The first season focused on a teenager committing suicide, and clues that showed the 13 reasons why she did.
COMCARE, a local organization that offers crisis intervention, among other things, said they found a correlation between when the first season was released and calls they received.
“The first season debuted on March 31, 2017. We had an increase in suicide callers, that following April that next month, by 25 percent,” said COMCARE’S director of outpatient services, Tisha Darland. “In May, by 43 percent. The number of suicidal callers have never decreased since that time.”
The numbers are alarming to Darland.
“It makes you wonder is this a good or a bad thing that the calls are going up? Does it mean that more people are reaching out, or already experiencing suicidal thoughts?” Darland said. “Or does it mean there are more people that are suicidal?”
COMCARE staff was notified of the potential uptick in calls a couple weeks ago and, once again, on Thursday. Sedgwick County will post resources from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on their Twitter and Facebook for those who need it. Netflix has also created a website with resources.
“One of the important things is to let people know that experiencing suicidal thoughts doesn’t mean that life is over,” Darland said.
Darland suggested parents not allow their child to watch “13 Reasons Why” alone.
“It’s a good way to spark conversation about the problem of suicide, but I hate thinking about kids trying to sort those things out by themselves without somebody that has a little more experience, a little bit more logical thinking to talk what they’re feeling through,” she said.
If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.