HBO has never shied away from dark material, but due to the especially sensitive — and potentially triggering – nature of its newest prestige drama Sharp Objects, the premium cable channel is closing out each episode with a PSA card directing viewers to important mental health resources.
Based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name, Sharp Objects follows St. Louis-based reporter Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) back to her hometown to cover the murders of two young girls. While the series is framed around Camille’s return to cover the grisly murders, the series is as much about — if not more about — Camille coming face-to-face with the childhood trauma that continues to haunt her, and which has left her with an alcohol dependency and struggles with self-harm.
Similarly to Netflix’s decision to end each episode in the second season of its teen drama 13 Reasons Why with various cast members reading resource information, HBO is offering resources to Sharp Objects viewers.
At the end of each of the limited series’ eight episodes, the card will appear, providing resources, reading:
The card also plugs the series’ resource page on HBO, which further directs viewers to mental health and addiction organizations including SAMHSA, Shatterproof, and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
13 Reasons Why, which is centered around the aftermath of a teen suicide and has focused on a number of sensitive topics including rape, substance abuse and addiction, self-harm, and gun violence, was criticized for not doing enough to provide resources to viewers, prompting the series to add a sensitive content PSA at the start of each season. The series also has a resource page directing viewers resources and organizations across the globe.
While we wish the PSA appeared before the credits — not afterwards, as it did during the premiere — we’re glad HBO is addressing the mental health of Sharper Objects viewers by providing resources for those who may need it.
Sharp Objects is currently airing on HBO.