Letters to the editor

LEST WE FORGET: Ahead of Anzac Day on Tuesday, cartoonist Bret Currie invokes the Gallipoli legend of Simpson and his donkey Duffy.
LEST WE FORGET: Ahead of Anzac Day on Tuesday, cartoonist Bret Currie invokes the Gallipoli legend of Simpson and his donkey Duffy.

Dangerous content in ‘13 Reasons Why’

I am writing on behalf of headspace to address growing concerns raised by schools, parents and young people across Australia about some content featured in US Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”.

The series – which debuted in Australia in late March and is currently streaming on Netflix – depicts a young woman who suicides.

It presents the viewer with very confronting and graphic messaging and imagery inclusive of suicide method and means.

Since its debut both the national Headspace School Support Program, which supports school communities in the aftermath of a suicide, and eheadspace, the national online and over-the-phone counselling service has received a growing numbers of calls and emails directly related to the program.

The show exposes viewers to risky suicide content and may lead to a distressing reaction by the viewer particularly if the audience is children and young people.

National and international research clearly indicates the very real impact and risk to harmful suicide exposure, leading to increased risk and possible suicide contagion.

Clinicians working for eheadspace have been dealing with a steady stream of concerned parents and young people since the show first aired.

There is a responsibility for broadcasters to know what they are showing and the impact that certain content can have on an audience – and on a young audience in particular.

Headspace School Support and eheadspace is urging school communities, parents, and mental health services to be aware of the dangers and risks associated for children and young people who have been exposed to this content.

The national suicide media initiative, Mindframe, also has significant concerns and warnings related to this content.

Please see the following links for helpful information for schools, mental health services, and parents if they are aware that children or young people have been exposed to the content and have expressed concerns around their own mental health, distress, or suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Kristen Douglas

National Manager Headspace School Support

Vale Emma Betts

I write on behalf of Cancer Council Queensland to express our deep sadness at the passing of 25 year old Emma Betts last weekend. 

The world has lost one of its bravest and most beautiful cancer warriors. 

Emma was diagnosed with terminal melanoma in 2013 at just 21 years old, and dedicated her life to raising awareness of skin cancer prevention and early detection. 

Emma was known locally and nationally as the author of Dear Melanoma, a blog documenting her daily life with cancer and the many tribulations of treatment for advanced disease. 

On behalf of CCQ, we convey our deepest sympathies to Emma’s husband Serge, her parents, Leon and Tamra, her family and many many friends. 

Emma, your legacy will live on. 

Harps play at Heaven’s Gate. 

Chris McMillan

CEO, Cancer Council Queensland

Spare the salties

Katter, Katter and Knuth (The KKK Party) are now calling for rich tourists to be allowed to stroll around Queensland with loaded weapons. Their target is, apparently, those psycho crocodiles again.

I reckon some adrenaline fueled amateurs, armed with that Katter favourite Adler's shotgun, will kill far more people than those salties will.

By the way, do the Katters have a commercial interest in the Adler shotgun?

George Harley, Mount Isa