Mike King's daughter says controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why is spot on, despite criticism

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Mental health campaigner Mike King and his 15-year-old daughter Ruby have responded to criticisms of a Netflix show which deals with suicide and has everyone talking.

Ruby Methven says 13 Reasons Why is getting people talking, and that's a good thing.
Source: Seven Sharp

The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why follows the life and subsequent suicide of a US teenager.

Ruby says that people her age relate to the show differently than those who are loudly criticising it.

"I related to it more than I've related to any other TV show that's out there ... it's completely honest and it shows what life as a teenager is like ... because of the added pressure of social media and how it all affects you and the people around you," she told Seven Sharp.

The show has been criticised for allegedly glorifying suicide which could lead to copycat incidents, and while Mike agrees there's some fairness to that comment, he says the overall usefulness of the themes discussed outweighs that.

"Fair comment," he says, "but if we focus on the graphic three minutes and ignore the 12 hours of messaging around societal attitudes then we're kind of missing the point.

"It's enabling young people (and older people) to see where our judgmental attitudes and flippant remarks that we make - which in isolation might not affect someone but with the cumulative effect of all that - where that can lead."

Mike says its a good opportunity for New Zealanders - and the government - to take a look at our own mental health attitudes and systems.

The show is being watched by millions around the world, but not everyone is happy with the ideas discussed.
Source: Seven Sharp

"There are problems in the system and people are going to continue to highlight those ... you can say that we're running a high quality mental health service as much as you want - that doesn't make it true," Mike says.

Mike has been championing a new crowd-funded mental health report, which was released today, called the People's Mental Health Review.

The review is based on stories from about 500 New Zealanders which detailed their experiences with the mental health system, and it concluded that and urgent funding boost is required in the sector.

Where can I get support and help from?

Below is a list of some of the services available which offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.

Lifeline 24/7 – 0800 543 354

Kidsline (aimed at children up to 18 years of age, available 24/7) – 0800 54 37 54

Depression Helpline (24/7) - 0800 111 757

Healthline - 0800 611 116

Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)

Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz

What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787

www.depression.org.nz - includes The Journal online help service

www.thelowdown.co.nz - visit the website, email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626. This is a 24/7 service.

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