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Netflix series titled “13 Reasons Why”
Friday, May 12, 2017
TO: ALL LOCAL MEDIA
FROM: DR. KELLY GLODT, SUPERINTENDENT, PIERRE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
DENNIS PFRIMMER, CEO, CAPITAL AREA COUNSELING SERVICE
DR. JOEL PRICE, SUPERINTENDENT, STANLEY COUNTY SCHOOLS
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Netflix series titled “13 Reasons Why”
There has been increasing interest in the Netflix series called “13 Reasons Why.” This series depicts the struggles of a high school student and her death by suicide. Many education and mental health professionals are debating the impact of the series. Will it bring discussion about suicide, the 10th leading cause of death in this country, out of the shadows or will it cause some vulnerable youth to take their life?
Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, founding president of the Child Mind Institute, is quoted by USA Today as noting, “5,000 young people ages 15-24 will die by suicide this year. Every minute, a teen makes an attempt serious enough to require medical attention. Millions more think about it seriously enough to make a plan.” He goes on to say stories and movies like “13 Reasons Why” can contribute to teen suicides by something researchers call “contagion.”
One issue seems to be consistent in the comments being made by professionals reacting to the Netflix series. The series did not focus enough on the help available to young people and others considering suicide.
Stanley County Schools, Pierre Public Schools and Capital Area Counseling (CACS) are joining together to inform the public that help is available for anyone who is thinking about suicide.
Dr. Kelly Glodt, Pierre’s Superintendent, states, “Children everywhere always face challenges and opportunities as they grow and mature into young adults. While technology can be a tremendous learning tool and make our lives more efficient, it also increases the challenges our youth face in regard to bullying and effective personal communication. My desire would be for every child to understand there are numerous options for help at school, at home, and within our community should they be facing personal challenges or need support in dealing with difficult situations they may encounter.“
Dr. Joel Price, Superintendent at Stanley County adds, “The world is bombarding our youth with images, sounds, and words that can cause tremendous hardship, pain, sorrow and may ultimately lead to psychological problems that manifest themselves in a suicide attempt or death. As educators and parents of our own children we must comprehend that these events, though glamorized in this video, can occur in any school or community at any time. We must acknowledge that fact and do everything in our power to reach out to those in need, provide a safe place of harbor for the victims, and process the offenders through the legal system to insure that they never offend again. Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘No one stands so tall as when they stoop to help a child.’”
Dennis Pfrimmer, CEO at CACS states, “The SD Department of Health reports from 2011 through 2015, suicide in our state was the number two leading cause of death for 15 to 34 year olds.” He goes on to say, “Suicide is not inevitable. Often it is an impulsive act that can be stopped when caring adults take action.”
Young people in our communities who are troubled or feeling desperate are encouraged to talk with their parents, their clergy, a teacher or school counselor. Anyone can get anonymous help by calling 800-273-TALK or texting 741741. Counseling is also available by contacting Capital Area Counseling at 224-5811.
See more information about suicide at www.sprc.org or by calling your school or CACS.
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