Better East Texas: Reasons why parents should talk to teens about suicide

(KLTV) - Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the ten to twenty-four year olds.  That is a shocking statistic. 

There is a recent release on Netflix, the movie streaming service, called 13 Reasons Why. This is a drama about teen suicide where individual characters are identified as one of thirteen reasons why another character commits suicide.  The production has received both praise and criticism because of the subject matter and the way it is dealt with in the program. 

Most teens are giving it praise and many parents are concerned. I have seen several episodes of the series but not all of it, so I can't speak from a position of full knowledge. It is well-produced, so why the difference between teens and adults? It is obvious that some teens can relate to the characters, and parents push back because it is tough to process that your child may have thoughts of suicide or that your child could do or say something that could negatively impact someone else's child. 

So 13 Reasons Why is a solid production, but the producers should have gone the extra step and included some helpful resources to foster dialogue between students and parents. They have recently added a website, but while this series is not a public service, it would have been responsible and helpful to take advantage of this platform and generate meaningful dialogue between parents and children, which is a rare occasion in today's world. 

If you have a teen in your life, look into this – they probably already have - but have a plan to complete the message circle.

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