A British mother sent out a warning to other parents in regards to letting their kids watch the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why after her young daughter committed suicide when she finished watching it.
Rachael Warburton claims her 12-year-old daughter Jessica Scatterson left a suicide note that explained the six reasons why she had decided to end her life before hanging herself. According to The Daily Mail, Rachael said that Jessica told her she had been watching the popular Netflix show, which is about a teenager who commits suicide and leaves 13 cassette tapes in which she tries to explain all the reasons behind her decision.
“Jessica was watching this show with her friends and listed six reasons why she wanted to die. It should be banned, because my daughter watched it and it gives children the idea to self-harm,” Rachael told The Mirror.
Furthermore, a new study in the United States found that teen suicide rates went up a whopping 30 percent after the first season of 13 Reasons Why aired, mainly among young boys, but no direct link between the two could be made. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry determined that there were 195 more suicides than expected during the first nine months after the show debuted.
An investigation into Jessica’s death found that both she and her friends had self-harmed and that she made superficial cuts to her leg with lettering shapes. Her friends were the ones who called the police after she posted a photo of her foot with the word “RIP” written on it. The 12-year-old was found dead in her bedroom at her father’s house in Warrington, Cheshire, just two days short of her birthday, and three weeks after 13 Reasons Why aired on Netflix.
Distraught mother warns over Netflix suicide show 13 Reasons Why after her 12-year-old daughter watched it then took her own life— @WADIBIG (@wadibig) May 6, 2019
Jessica Scatterson, 12, killed herself after watching popular Netflix series pic.twitter.com/AChIHEacd5
In her room, a small blade from a pencil sharpener was found as well as notes referring to suicide, a drawing of someone being hanged, and the name of an alleged bully, as per The Daily Mail. In the show, the main character Hannah Barker (Katherine Langford) kills herself with the help of a blade. Most of the episodes in the shocking series were not advised to children under 15, while others even had an 18-age certificate from the British Board of Film Classification. Her mother, Rachael said that she believed that while the series’ intentions are to raise awareness about suicide, it “encourages young people to commit suicide.”
“All Jessica’s friends were messaging each other discussing the series. Parents should be warned not to let their children watch it,” she added.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.