Experts: Netflix series '13 Reasons Why' is potential risk for teens

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A national organization is raising awareness about a new show they say is "concerning."

The National Association of School Psychologists said the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" is a potential risk for teens on the verge of suicide.

It's a warning they said parents need to be aware of.

This popular Netflix series is spawning national controversy from psychologists and educators.

"13 Reasons Why" depicts the story of a 17-year-old girl who takes her own life.

Fans said it's opening the door to discussions on tough issues teens face every day.

"Most people don't really realize how much of an impact it could have on a person and even just - kids nowadays just joke around with it," said high school senior Journey Hogan. "And they just playfully name call and things like that."

"I thought it was a really good show and after I watched it, my sister and I, we had a really long conversation about suicide and like if it's a choice or not," said high school senior Janiya Douglas. "I feel like throughout the show they were promoting that suicide is not a choice."

The National Association of School Psychologists released a statement cautioning parents and educators against the show, saying in part:

"Adults should explain to teens that 'Suicide is not a solution to problems," and "This is particularly important for adolescents who are isolated, struggling, or vulnerable to suggestive images and storylines."

Crestwyn Director of Clinical Services Tom Edwards agrees with the suggestion.

"I think the issue is here that you've got a television show that may be wonderfully produced and well done," Edwards said. "But not appropriate for all adolescents. Especially not appropriate who are particularly vulnerable and don't have the psychological maturity to sort through all of that material."

Edwards said it is always OK for parents to watch the show with their teen or just say no if they view the series as too "mature" for their child.

"If you are a concerned parent, you want to sit down and watch an episode first and then you might want to sit down with your adolescent together an watch an episode together," Edwards said.

Experts strongly recommend if you or your teen is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can always get 24 hour help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-(TALK).

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