“It’s created a conversation about suicide, but not the right conversation.” -Dr. Dan Reidenberg, SAVE
Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why is now available for streaming, and many schools and parents are once again voicing concern over the impact of the show on its target teen audience. As a result, 13 Reasons Why resources on talking to teens about mental health and suicide are being widely disseminated once again.
Whether you’ve watched it or not, it’s hard to avoid hearing about the hit Netflix teen drama. The new season premiered last week despite calls from mental health experts to remove the show from Netflix and cancel Season 2. Reviews of the new season are mixed and already controversial, but there’s no doubt that young people are tuning in.
With this in mind, we at Kognito want to provide adults with right tools for talking with teens about the show. Since Season 2 is generating a renewed discussion on teen mental health and teen suicide prevention, we are re-sharing 13 Reasons Why resources and want to bring your attention to a few new ones.
13 Reasons Why Resources
Released in time for Season 2, SAVE, in partnership with JED and other organizations and experts, has launched a 13 Reasons Why Toolkit for Season 2 with guidance for parents, educators, youth, clinicians, and the media.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has also published guidance for educators and families based on the show.
Following the 13 Reasons Why premiere in March 2017, we hosted a webinar to clarify concerns about the show and answer educator and parent questions.
Our expert speakers on the webinar included:
- Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)
- Christy Olson, Mental Health Coordinator at Polk County School Board, Florida
- Pat Breux, State Coordinator of School and Youth Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Center of New York
The speakers discussed issues in how the show portrays suicide, sexual assault, substance use, and school violence. After their presentations, they addressed questions on how and when schools and parents should respond. You can watch the webinar and access slides here.
With over 3,000 educators, administrators, mental health professionals, and parents listening to the webinar, we were overwhelmed by the response.
13 Reasons Why resources shared in the webinar include:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741)
- Suicide in Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide to Multi-level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Postvention (Book)
- SAMHSA’s Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s 13 Reasons Why Questions and Resources
- Kognito’s mental health and suicide prevention conversation simulations for teachers and school staff
Some students will likely be tuning in to the new season. For adults in their lives, it’s important to have the skills to address suicide and triggering topics, and make young viewers feel supported. Ultimately they are an important gatekeeper to guide teens to the right support.
The webinar highlighted why the mental health and education communities have concerns over the show’s glamorization of suicide, graphic depictions, and portrayal of adults failing to respond appropriately. Further, the show does not address mental health or alternatives to suicide.
We hope that these resources give adults the right tools for starting important conversations with young viewers of 13 Reasons Why.