Dear DMHS Families,
I am writing to you all regarding a new Netflix series gaining huge popularity in the teenage community called 13 Reasons Why. The series revolves around 17-year-old Hannah Baker, who takes her own life and leaves behind audio recordings for 13 people who she says in some way were part of why she killed herself. Each tape recounts painful events in which one or more of the 13 individuals played a role.
Schools have an essential role in helping to prevent youth suicide and being aware of the potential risk factors in students’ lives is vital to this responsibility. As the mental health provider for DMHS, I strongly recommend that if you allow your child to watch this series, please engage in thoughtful conversation with them about the show and explain that TV drama is different from real life, that suicide is never a solution to problems, and that help is available. I assure you that every staff member at DMHS takes any talk of suicide very seriously and will contact me immediately to support students who may be struggling.
I encourage you all to read the attached document that contains guidance for families from DPS Student Safety Coordinator, Joanna Barker. The National Association for School Psychology has also put out exceptional guidance for both educators and families on the Netflix series. Click here for the link if you are interested.
Finally, if you feel your child is in need of assistance, please reach out by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 720-424-2636.
Thank you for taking this matter seriously and collaborating with DMHS to help keep every child in our community safe, healthy, and happy.
Please click below for the letters from DPS: