health

Netflix is introducing a major change to 13 Reasons Why.

When teen drama 13 Reasons Why landed on Netflix in March, it didn’t take long before mental health experts were decrying its graphic depictions of sexual assault and suicide.

Now, in the wake of the backlash, the streaming service has announced it will include additional warnings in the controversial series.

In a statement quoted by The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix noted episodes featuring graphic content are flagged as such, but recognised the need to take things further.

“While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories,” the company said.

The series centres around character Hannah Baker. Image: Netflix.
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"Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series."

It's unclear precisely what the new warning will say.

13 Reasons Why centres around a US high school student who takes her own life and leaves behind a series of audio tapes addressing the people she believes contributed to her death.

While it received critical acclaim, numerous mental health services expressed concern over the series, particularly the graphic depiction of the teen's suicide in the final episode.

Listen: The Binge team argues about whether 13 Reasons Why is powerful or problematic. Post continues below. 

Australian organisation headspace said it had received an increase in calls from concerned parents and students in the wake of the series, and warned about the impact such "dangerous" content can have on vulnerable young viewers.

“National and international research clearly indicates the very real impact and risk to harmful suicide exposure leading to increased risk and possible suicide contagion,” said Kristen Douglas, National Manager of headspace School Support.

Meanwhile, national suicide prevention initiative Mindframe said it "sends the wrong messages about suicide risk and the show does nothing to encourage help-seeking."

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