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HHC Behavioral Health Network to Host Screening and “What’s Wrong (and Right) with ‘13 Reasons Why’” Forum

May 18, 2017

The Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN) is hosting a community screening and forum entitled, “What’s Wrong (and Right) with ‘13 Reasons Why’” on Monday, June 12 starting at 6 pm at Real Art Ways in Hartford.

The event features a screening of an episode of “13 Reasons Why” followed by a town hall discussion led by Institute of Living (IOL) experts including Hank Schwartz, MD, IOL psychiatrist-in-chief and vice president of behavioral health at Hartford HealthCare; Lisa Namerow, MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the IOL; and Laura Saunders, PsyD, ABPP, child and adolescent psychologist at the IOL. The forum is free of charge and open to the public.

The Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why,” based off a young adult novel of the same name, has captured the attention of adolescents and adults alike since its release on March 31. The series tells the story of teenager Hannah Baker who takes her own life and leaves behind cassette tapes chronicling the 13 reasons why she did it.

The show, produced by popular singer and actress Selena Gomez, has come under scrutiny and criticism in recent weeks for its graphic themes, which include suicide, sexual assault, substance abuse and bullying. But it’s also raised the level of dialogue on a topic that is typically not easy to talk about – suicide.

The community screening and forum is part of the BHN’s ongoing National Dialogue on Mental Health series, which offers free public forums aimed at discussing topics related to mental health and substance abuse. Since the series began in 2013 in response to Sandy Hook, the BHN has hosted more than 25 forums attended by over 1,800 people.