13 Reasons Why not meeting media Mindframe Guidelines

CONCERNS RAISED: 13 Reasons Why has generated controversy since its launch in March. Pictured is Hannah Baker, the main character who commits suicide.

CONCERNS RAISED: 13 Reasons Why has generated controversy since its launch in March. Pictured is Hannah Baker, the main character who commits suicide.

Headspace Dubbo’s clinical lead Ann-Maree Hartley says the controversial TV series 13 Reasons Why does not adhere to guidelines set out by Mindframe Guidelines for Australian Media. 

“Marathon Health and headspace Bathurst, Orange, Cowra and Dubbo, support and follow the Mindframe guidelines for Australian media which outlines how the media should discuss suicide in an effort to keep all our communities safe,” she said.

“13 Reasons Why doesn’t adhere to these guidelines.

“The show discusses and graphically depicts the means by which the lead character took their life. The show also doesn’t include current Australian contact numbers for help-seeking as is required by Australian media laws and the Mindframe guidelines.

“13 Reasons Why offers little education and insight into the psychological or sociological perspectives of suicidality.

“The important message is not to present suicide as a reasonable, if extreme, response.”

Ms Hartley said 13 Reasons Why does not show what people can do to help prevent a death by suicide and that people may start to identify with the characters, resulting in reliving painful memories.

Staff from headspace Orange and Bathurst branches presented a half-hour session for teachers at Bathurst High School regarding the series.

The series, which portrays suicide and rape, was released on Netflix on March 31, 2017.

Key concerns raised by Bathurst High’s staff at the session were how can you tell if a young person is vulnerable to suicide and how can staff talk to young people about the 13 Reasons Why?

“Teachers also commented that they are seeing friends of someone who is vulnerable, speaking to them about their concerns for their friends,” Marathon Health executive manager of health services Bryan Hoolahan said. 

“This is a great thing to see and headspace Bathurst staff handed out information sheets about “If My Friend Is Not OK”.”

Mr Hoolahan said young people shouldn’t watch the series alone. 

If someone is in danger call 000 or Lifeline on 131114.