MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

13 REASONS WHY

You may recall the public discussion generated by last year’s Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

Season two will be released worldwide on Friday 18 May. This show was widely watched by teenagers last year. Themes of suicide, sexual assault, consent, bullying and other issues made some viewers feel distressed and in need of support. Similar and equally confronting themes will be present in season two. In the lead-up to the release, some young people may re-watch the first season, or watch it for the first time.

Young people feel the show represents the issues they face. Banning or recommending a ban on viewing it can be harmful, as young people will still watch it but feel they have to hide that from adults.

The issues raised in the series are signi cant and offer a good opportunity to talk to our young people about these dif cult life events – but it is important that those conversations are safe ones. We are working with other agencies to ensure information is available to support and encourage safe conversations between young people and their parents, or another trusted adult, if they view this series.

Some of this information is already available on the resource hub on the Mental Health Foundation website. Additional support material will be added to this hub prior to 18 May.

13 Reasons Why is not the only challenging series young people are watching but it is one of the most talked about. The Office of Film and Literature Classification has released a guide for parents: Talking with young people about what they’re watching. We encourage you to share this guide, and the Mental Health Foundation’s hub of resources with your parent and whānau community.

If you, or parents or whānau, are concerned about a young person, please reach out for help. The Mental Health Foundation have a list of contacts, or phone your local DHBs Mental Health Crisis Team. Support is also available from a trained counsellor anytime by calling or texting 1737.