The first season, which quickly gained popularity among teens, raised concerns of mental health advocates over the message conveyed. The story centered around a young girl who experiences depression, bullying, violence, and sexual assault, all of which cumulated in her decision to take her own life.
While we don't know the exact storylines for the second season, possible topics set up at the end of the first season could include another suicide attempt, sexual assault, and violence.
The National Association of School Psychologists does not recommend that vulnerable youth (such as those struggling with depression, previous suicidal behavior, or trauma) watch the series, and most certainly not alone.
If your child has an interest in watching this show, we encourage you to watch it together and engage in thoughtful conversation to help process the issues addressed in the series.
Here are some resources to help families navigate conversations around these serious topics:
• Netflix has created a discussion guide for season one of ‘13 Reasons Why.’
• The company has also implemented parental controls to restrict access to mature content.
• Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE): Tips for Watching New Netflix Series '13 Reasons Why'
• Common Sense Media: 5 Conversations to Have with Your Teens After '13 Reasons Why'
Warning Signs of Suicide:
• Suicidal threats in the form of direct (e.g., "I am going to kill myself") and indirect (e.g., "I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up again") statements. Threats can be verbal or written.
• Making final arrangements (e.g., giving away prized possessions).
• Preoccupation with death.
• Changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts, and/or feelings.
Reinforce suicide is not a solution. It is an irreversible choice regarding a temporary problem. There is help and hope. If a suicide threat seems serious. Call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) immediately.
APA is a resource for your family. We stand ready to help. If you experience concerns over the summer, please contact APA at 765-649-8472.