Interview: Mental health professional on '13 Reasons Why'
Michael Weinberg, MD, advises parents to watch it with their teens
Mental health professionals at Banner Health are encouraging parents to watch the series with their adolescents and have open discussions about the show’s sensitive topics.

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (May 17, 2018) -- – With the second season of Netflix’s immensely popular show 13 Reasons Why coming on Friday, May 18, mental health professionals at Banner Health are encouraging parents to watch the series with their adolescents and have open discussions about the show’s sensitive topics.

Michael Weinberg, MD, senior manager of behavioral health at Banner Thunderbird in Glendale, offers this ready-to-edit interview.

In the footage, he discusses some of the show’s topics such as suicide, bullying, sexual assault, substance abuse, feelings of loneliness, and coping with traumatic occurrences.

The first season sparked a national discussion on how the show’s content impacts young viewers, and raised concerns that the series might lead a viewer to contemplate suicide or, worse, act on recent thoughts of committing suicide. When entertainment media increases exposure to suicide and mental illness, mental health professionals at Banner Health have seen a direct correlation to the increased number of patient visits and inquiries they receive.

In the taped interview, Dr. Weinberg covers:

  • How loneliness does not discriminate. People of all ages and backgrounds can experience loneliness
  • Social media’s role in mental health, both the good and bad
  • Seeing a correlation between patient visits and inquiries when the media or a television show increases exposure to suicide or mental illness
  • Signs that parents, friends or teachers that should spark a conversation
  • What actions to take if or when those signs are spotted
  • Tips for parents on how to be a resource while watching the episodes and the importance of being a good listener
  • Lastly, where the public can seek help through national hotlines and a local appointment line