A Guide to 13 Reasons Why

The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” is a hot topic in the media and amongst teens at the moment. The first season of the show aired in March 2017, with the third season due to air in 2 days.    

The show is a fictional story about a girl who dies by suicide and leaves tapes explaining the reasons for her decision to take her life.  The first season explores issues of high school bullying, substance use, sexual assault and teen suicide – amongst others. The show is confronting and can be triggering for anyone with a history of mental health problems, suicidal thoughts and/or sexual assault.

The second season of the show is about the aftermath of Hannah’s death and follows the stories of the individuals named on Hannah’s tapes.  Season two explores issues of high school bullying, serial sexual assault, gun violence, drug use, deliberate self-harm and male sexual assault.  

It is important for parents and teachers to be open to discussing the show with young people. Telling people young people not to watch the show may reinforce the idea that these tough issues should not be talked about. It is recommended that young people wanting to watch the show do so with a parent, trusted adult or a friend. 

Download this 13 Reasons Why – Guide for helpful talking points for young people and adults watching the show for the first time.

In need of help?

If you are distressed and in need of urgent support please call or visit: Lifeline (13 11 14) www.lifeline.org.au; Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) www.kidshelpline.com.au; eheadspace (1800 650 890) www.eheadspace.org.au.

The team at Lawson Clinical Psychology are experienced in working with teenagers and young adults. Contact us on 6143 4499 to book an appointment or email us at www.lawsonpsychology.com.au.


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