13 Reasons Why 'glamourises suicide' - Health Minister Jonathan Coleman

The Health Minister has given his view on controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, saying he's worried it could be glamourising suicide.

Dr Jonathan Coleman has only seen "quite a bit of the first episode" but his take is that it gives an "unrealistic" portrayal of mental illness and suicide.

"I think it's good in that it raises some issues which are really important for young New Zealanders today, that's what a lot of young people who it's pitched at will tell you.

"But I'm also concerned that it glamourises suicide, and the whole plot of that show gives a very unrealistic picture of a teen suicide and doesn't deal realistically with mental health issues."

However Dr Coleman conceded the show was making the issues and pressures faced by young people become dinner table conversation.

"Whether it's bullying, the social environment, social media, that sort of thing."

  • If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Prevention Helpline on 0508 828 865.

He made the comments at the launch of a new social investment approach to dealing with mental health on Thursday.

Dr Coleman did not give details on how much will be allocated in this year's Budget, but said the Government had moved from looking at mental health and addiction as 'just' a health issue to seeing it in a wider context through the Government's social investment approach.

"It's clear we've got to strengthen up access to services in the community, that's the feedback we've had over time, primary prevention and focusing on wellness and wellbeing and the complex drivers of mental health illnesses."