KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Searches On Suicide Jumped Nearly 20 Percent Following Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Debut

With controversy around how the show depicted suicide swirling, scientists wanted to find out if the series actually did affect teens watching it.

USA Today: Suicide-Related Searches Surged After The Release Of '13 Reasons Why'
Suicide-related searches on Google jumped significantly after the release of the show 13 Reasons Why, according to a report published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. The show, which premiered in March on Netflix, follows the fictional story of Hannah Baker, a teenager who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes detailing why she decided to end her life. (Toy, 7/31)

The Washington Post: Internet Searches On Suicide Went Up After ‘13 Reasons Why’ Released By Netflix
“Our analyses suggest 13 Reasons Why, in its present form, has both increased suicidal awareness while unintentionally increasing suicidal ideation,” the authors wrote. “The most rising queries focused on suicidal ideation. For instance, ‘how to commit suicide’, ‘commit suicide’ and ‘how to kill yourself’ were all significantly higher.” Overall, suicide queries were 19 percent higher in the 19 days following the series’ release, “reflecting 900,000 to 1.5 million more searches than expected,” the paper reported. (Murgia, 7/31)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.