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’13 Reasons Why’ Proven To Have Caused Teen Suicide Rates To Increase

The study follows the deaths of multiple teenage fans of the show

Two 15-year-old girls killed themselves days apart, after watching the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why.

The controversial show, which followed the life and death of teenager Hannah Baker, made headlines worldwide upon its release, with many saying the series glorified suicide. Now, a study has proven the show led to an increase in teenage suicide. 

Two different studies, most recently one by the American National Institutes of Health, said rates of suicide for teenagers aged between 10 and 17 rose in the months following the show’s 2017 release. This resulted in 195 suicide deaths from April to December 2017, with researchers urging the entertainment industry to be more careful when portraying suicide. 

Here in Australia, mental health organisation Headspace issued a warning, and in New Zealand, anyone under the age of 18 was required to watch the show with adult supervision. 

Now the families of deceased Bella Herndon and Priscilla Chiu are saying the show is to blame for the deaths of the teenage girls. 

Bella, who was just days short of her 16th birthday, was found in her room by her mum and died after more than a week on life support.

Bella Herndon

Her dad, John Herndon, told local California channel KTVU: “There’s no word that describes my contempt for the people that did this.”

“You can’t convince me that they were trying to attract people’s attention to the issue of suicide by showing a little girl killing herself. There’s nothing positive about that.”

“Don’t go through with the renewal for the second season of 13 Reasons Why. Stop this. This is wrong. You’re making money off the misery of others.”

Priscilla Chiu

Priscilla Chiu’s uncle, Peter Chiu, says he should’ve noticed the signs. The 15-year-old had battled depression, her grades were dropping and she told him she hated school.

“And I feel like the absolute worst adult because I kept forcing her to go to school,” he said.

Peter is now asking Selena Gomez, one of the show’s executive producers, to speak to the influential teenagers watching, and to tell them that there’s other options.

“I would implore and beg Selena Gomez because she has a huge platform to please reach out to our kids and please tell them there are other options. There are other resources out there. This is not a way out for you,” he wrote on Facebook at the time. 

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline for 24/7 support on 13 11 14 or visit the website at If it’s an emergency, call 000.

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