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Good mental health is important for all students, but athletes have unique experiences that warrant specific attention. During this discussion, athletes, parents, and coaches can learn more about:
-coping with injuries and losses
-managing pressure and stress
-managing mental illness while maintaining performance
-transitioning from high school to college
-managing the athlete identity
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Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" has become a hit with teens despite it's TV-MA rating. Many mental health professionals have raised concerns about the shows portrayal of suicide and sexual assault. Here are a couple articles to help you navigate "13 Reasons Why" with your kids. It's important to know what conversations to have and how to have them.
Here’s what we suggest young viewers and parents consider:
- Make a considered and thoughtful decision about whether or not you choose to watch the show. If you have experienced significant depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts or behaviors in the past, this show may be risky for you to watch.
- If you choose to watch the show and are finding yourself distraught, depressed, or having thoughts of suicide or are having trouble sleeping, stop watching it and let a parent, trusted adult or counselor know. You can also text start to 741- 741 for confidential, professional help 24/7.
- For those who choose to watch the show, consider watching it with others and taking breaks between episodes instead of binge-watching. It would be especially good to watch with parents or other trusted adults. Discuss what you are seeing and experiencing along the way.
- This show does provide an opportunity to explore and discuss the meaning of friendship and how we make choices when we or friends are having troubles or are struggling. Viewers should consider how they might have made different choices from those made by characters in the story.
- Whether you choose to watch this show or not, we should all work to be caring of and vigilant about our family members, friends and ourselves. If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or showing signs indicating a possible suicidal crisis get them (or yourself) to help. Support from trusted friends and family, and professional mental health care when it is needed, save lives every day.
CBS News also features an article outlining whether your child should watch the series and preparations you should make prior:
Parents should shore up their knowledge about suicide prevention before watching "13 Reasons" with their teen or talking about it with a child who has already seen it, so they're prepared to respond and answer questions. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers information online about risks factors, warning signs to watch out for, and where to find resources for support and treatment.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide if, when, and how your child watches the series.