Photo: Gourami Watcher, 2013

13 Reasons Why

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New season prompts a bulletin from local suicide prevention task force.

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The second season of the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why, based on a popular novel of the same name, was recently released and the Oakland County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force released this bulletin to local schools.

“The first season, which was popular among adolescents, raised significant concerns for parents, educators and mental health professionals because of its dramatic and graphic portrayal of difficult issues such as sexual assault and suicide. The Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine study found that internet searches related to suicide were 19 higher in the 19 days following the series release.

13 Reasons Why Not“Season 2 will tell the story of the characters’ attempts to return to a normal life following the suicide of their peer. It will also center around a story of rape that occurred in Season 1 and cover other sensitive subject matters such as sexual abuse, substance abuse, mental health and bullying.”

Due to the popularity and the subject matter of the series, the Oakland County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force is providing the information below to assist parents in conversations with their children about these serious and sensitive topics. It is important for adults to be aware of what youth are watching. This includes monitoring access to content and viewed content via computers and mobile devices. It is suggested that:

  • Parents/caregivers view the series first, if possible.
  • If you consider the series suitable for your children, watch it with them. Please note, the series is not recommended for vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, per the National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Create a safe, judgment-free zone when talking about the series and the subject matter.
  • Use the “13 Reasons Why” Discussion Guide created by Netflix to help guide conversation about sensitive topics related to the series. (13reasonswhy.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/13-Reasons-Why-Season-1-Discussion-Guide.compressed.pdf)
  • Access resources created by the Oakland County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force, including a Parent Toolkit and Suicide Warning Signs flyer.
  • Reach out for help if you feel you and/or your child needs it. Call or text the Common Ground Resource and Crisis Helpline at 1-800-231-1127 or chat online 24 hours a day, seven days a week at commongroundhelps.org.
  • Encourage your child to understand the “13 Reasons WHY NOT” graphic, created by the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, a Task Force member agency.
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