A new study of the suicide rate following the show's debut suggests those concerns were more than justified. Researchers found that, among adolescents and teens, 195 additional suicides occurred in the nine months after Netflix released the first season of 13 Reasons Why.
While the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,couldn't establish a causal link between the show and the increase, the researchers used approaches that helped them account for various factors that could affect the suicide rate. That included forecasting models to estimate suicide trends, controlling for seasonal variations in the suicide rate, and comparing the suicide and homicide rates, the latter of which is also influenced by social and environmental events.
The study's analysis looked at the existing and anticipated trends for the suicide rate and found an unexpected spike after the show launched. The finding was limited to only 10- to 17-year-olds; there was no significant association for those 18 and older. A separate study published in 2017 found an association between 13 Reasons Why and a spike in internet searches about suicide and suicide methods.