‘13 Rea­sons’ might have trig­gered sui­cide searches on­line

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

CHICAGO — A pop­u­lar TV se­ries that showed a teen end­ing her life may have trig­gered a surge in on­line searches for sui­cide, in­clud­ing how to do it. That’s ac­cord­ing to a new study about the show “13 Rea­sons Why.’’ Net­flix re­leased all 13 episodes on March 31. Re­searchers found that for al­most three weeks af­ter­ward, there were at least 900,000 more than ex­pected Google searches in­clud­ing the word “sui­cide.’’ That’s a 19-per cent in­crease based on fore­casts us­ing Google Trends and his­tor­i­cal search trends. Searches in­cluded sui­cide meth­ods, sui­cide hot­lines and sui­cide pre­ven­tion.

The study doesn’t prove a link and didn’t ex­am­ine any con­nec­tion with ac­tual sui­cides or at­tempts. It was pub­lished Mon­day in JAMA In­ter­nal Medicine.

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