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Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why: Prepare for safe conversations

Season two of the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why will be released worldwide on Friday 18 May, likely at 7pm New Zealand time.

This show was widely watched by teenagers last year. The themes of suicide, sexual assault, bullying and other issues led to many viewers feeling distressed and in need of support. Dr Monique Faleafa responded by writing a blog for our Pasifika families and communities and supported a Tagata Pasifika newsclip

It is expected that similar and equally confronting themes will be present in this upcoming season.

In the leadup to the release, you should be aware that some young people may re-watch the first season, or watch it for the first time. Feedback from young people is that it accurately represented the issues they face in their lives. Banning, or recommending a ban on viewing it can be more harmful than helpful as young people will still watch it but feel they have to hide that from adults. 

The issues raised in the series are significant, and the series offers a good opportunity to talk to our young people about these difficult life events, but it is important that those conversations are safe ones.  Where a young person is already in a vulnerable space, it may be wise to delay watching the series or watching with an adult which allows for ongoing shared conversation around the topic.

13 Reasons Why is certainly not the only challenging series young people are watching, but it is one of the most talked about. The Chief Censor has released a guide for parents: Talking with young people about what they’re watching. The guide is available on the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s website. We encourage you to share this guide with your parent and whanau community.

Le Va is connecting in with government agencies, DHB’s and other mental health providers who are working together to ensure specific information is available to support any discussions with young people or their parents after they view this new series. This is being developed as agencies are able to view the series, so is not yet complete. We will keep you updated in our newsletter.

If you, or parents or whanau, are concerned about a young person in crisis, get help now. Support is also available for free from a trained counsellor anytime by calling or texting 1737. There is also a free sexual harm support helpline 0800 044 334 and website.

In the meantime, there is some good reading on the Mental Health Foundation website, and Netflix created a website to assist viewers and their families. 

 

About the author •
Dr Monique Faleafa is Le Va's founding Chief Executive, appointed in 2013. She has served Pacific communities in the not-for-profit sector, district health boards, academia and social services for nearly 20 years as a clinician, and as an advocate for improving health and social outcomes for Pacific communities.