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"13 Reasons Why" opening dialogue on teen suicide

Posted at 11:37 PM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 02:41:52-04

A Netflix original show has been the source of controversy since it was first released in March. 13 Reasons Why, based on a book of the same name by Jay Asher,  follows the suicide of a high school girl named Hannah.

The storyline follows the title - as Hannah introduces the 13 people who are the 13 reasons why she chose to take her own life.

Since the release of the show, some have said that it romanticizes suicide, and might even persuade kids to take suicide as a route when they are depressed. Others argue that it is not a persuading story, it's a story that will help create a dialogue about teen suicide.

10News Anchor Brian Shlonsky sat down with a man who survived suicide, to see what his take is on the show.

Jim Greer says it's a tough topic for teens and parent, and tuning in might provide an opportunity.

“I had the unfortunate experience of the way that I chose to do it my mom actually finding me," Greer said. He was 18-years-old when he decided to take his own life, not much older than the main character in the show.

“I know what it was like to be there and stuff like that," he said. "I haven’t forgotten that. I remember exactly how I felt."

Greer—is a survivor. A success story. A man who has since dedicated his life to helping others who struggle with thoughts of taking their own lives.

Greer says he didn’t plan on watching “13 reasons why," but he did. He says he was shocked at some of the graphic scenes, but the show could provide a learning experience for parents.

:"It does bring into the home the opportunity for parents to actually see what their kids are going through in school," he said.

Suicide expert Christina Ailes agrees, and encourages parents to have an open conversation with their children about bullying and teen suicide. But, she doesn't encourage anyone battling with depression to watch.

"The fact that it seems very targeted to that younger population has raised a lot of red flags," she said.

The problem? Ailes says the show misrepresents the resources that schools provide, and is in many ways inaccurate.

"(It's) not realistic at all in any way shape or form," she said. "In a very harmful way.”

If you're worried about someone who may be having suicidal thoughts, call the Crisis Hotline at 1-888-724-7240 or visit Up2sd.org