The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which has become popular among teens and adults, details what its main character, high school student Hannah Baker, says led to her suicide.
It is a fictitious show about a teenager’s suicide and the 13 tapes she leaves behind explaining why she took her own life.
The show's creators don't shy away from graphically depicting disturbing and sensitive topics.
The show and its dramatic messages is reaching teens across the country
Rich Hanley, associate professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University, says the show has been successful because of the realness of its sometimes controversial content stirring conversation on social media.
"Netflix hit all the right notes in terms of its show content, show demographic, with the understanding that it would do extremely well on social media because that's where the conversations take place," says Hanley.
The show's popularity is hard to ignore. Since its debut in late March, 13 Reasons Why has been tweeted about more than 11 million times per trade publication "Variety."
While some critics say the show glamorizes suicide, high school senior Anna Stryjewska doesn't believe that. Instead, it’s teaching teens like her a lesson.
"I’ve started to watch what I do all the time and make sure my actions don't negatively impact people," said Stryjewska.
Whether you like the show or not, it can be a useful springboard for talking with your teen. Finding common interests that have serious themes opens the door to those important topics of suicide, bullying, and sex.
"As tough as that might be, or maybe awkward as that might be, watch the show with them absolutely and have those conversations with them ongoing," said Mitch Page, an elementary school principal.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255