Local mental health experts do not encourage those struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts to watch Netflix's new show "13 Reasons Why," which documents the suicide of a high school girl.

The show's main character takes her own life after dealing with everything from bullying to rape. She leaves behind a set of recordings, explaining to her peers how they contributed to her decision.

Critics said the show glorified suicide, while fans said it raised awareness for mental health issues. But, health experts had concerns about it causing problems for people who were already struggling.

Nancy Preston, director of counseling at Temple ISD, said local counselors do not recommend watching the show because she claimed it does not show the proper ways to work through depression or offer enough resources to get help. If your child does plan to watch anyway, she highly recommended watching with them.

"Keep an eye on your kids," Preston said. "Do you know what your kids are watching? Have you talked to them about what's happening?"

She says student reports of suicidal behavior increase every Spring, and despite the scripted series suicidal thoughts are very real and shouldn't be taken lightly.

"We don't want to glamorize it. Once it ends it ends there are no tapes or flashbacks that we get to keep watching, they don't get to see the finality and the grief that goes along with the ending" says Preston.

No one knows that better than Clarena Tobon, she lost her mother to suicide when she was 20 and started a local suicide prevention and awareness organization to help others in similar situations.

"For a very long time everything my mom was going through, when it ended for her it rolled onto my sister and I. We were left with the struggle of well what do we do now with the pain and hurt and everything" says Tobon.

Clarena says viewers don't have to agree with everything in the show to gain something from it.

If we talk about it we don't know who's going to be listening and be able to save themselves or someone else" says Tobon.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, below are links to three resources to help.

  1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Call: 1-800-273-8255)
  2. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  3. Hope Happens (local suicide prevention organization)