The first season of 13 Reasons Why centred on the self-inflicted death of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, who leaves behind 13 tapes - one for each of the people she says caused her to end her life.
The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why officially returns for its second season of streaming on Friday, May 18, and the debut will be marked with numerous new resources for viewers. In particular, the graphic, on-screen suicide of Hannah seemingly ignored most recommended media guidelines for portraying suicide, and was viewed as triggering and unnecessary by many professionals and mental health advocates.
The Foundation places the utmost priority on protecting the safety of vulnerable young people.
Although this series has been promoted by the creators as a tool to help students recognize their impact on others to prevent suicide, it does not address mental illness or present viable alternatives to suicide, including seeking support from mental health professionals. "Knowing that there was going to be a second season with charged topics like suicide, school-shootings and substance abuse, we joined forces and crafted this toolkit with the intention to provide scientifically-informed practical advice and educational resources".
"One in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes".
Epsom Girls Grammar School sent a note out to parents warning them the show starts screening on Thursday, NZME reports.
The Foundation also acknowledges most viewers are not vulnerable and will not need extra support after watching the show.
"Themes of suicide, sexual assault and bullying are confronting and as the email states we "also appreciate that the [first] series resonated with young people and provided an opportunity for them to discuss a subject most often hard or discouraged".
Mental health campaigner Mike King said the show carried important messages. However, its handling of issues commonly faced by teens (bullying, gossip, sexual activity, etc.) offers an opportunity for eye-opening dialogue that will encourage young people to come to the adults in their lives with their problems and experiences.
"It has also made young people more aware about vulnerable people, and the need to be more careful with words and attitudes".
"And in the long run this is helpful to those vulnerable people, as it shows attitudes are changing, and it is okay to open up".
TSPN concurs with other mental health experts that teenagers should watch this show with a parent or guardian present.
If you are anxious about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider.