When 13 Reasons Why premiered on Netflix in March 2017, it immediately sparked debate for its depiction of teen suicide and related mental health issues. Produced by Selena Gomez and based on the popular book by Jay Asher, the 13-episode first season of the Netflix original included often disturbingly realistic portrayals of sexual assault, underage drinking, drug use and suicide. Soon after its release, it became 2017’s most tweeted-about show, sparking more than 11 million mentions.
Critics were particularly concerned about the possibility that some would receive its depiction of suicide as glamorized; of its potential to inspire copycat acts; and of its lack of discussion of the causes and symptoms of mental health challenges. Many also pointed to its failure to show mental health resources, including therapy, that the characters might have accessed for support.
With Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why set to premiere on May 18, Netflix has been preparing to get ahead of the conversation — and potential controversy — by providing a number of resources related to the serious subjects the show explores.
“I truly believe that all conversation is good,” creator Brian Yorkey told USA Today in an interview earlier this week. “But in the bigger picture, positive or negative, there were really intense conversations happening, and many of them were not happening before the show. You can’t have that kind of impact without some real polarity in the opinions, and I’m grateful for all of it.”
The first change Netflix has made for Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why is having cast members, including Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford, provide a public service announcement that introduces new episodes with a warning about the show’s potentially triggering subject matter and directing viewers to appropriate resources to seek help.
Those resources include a standalone website with links to the Crisis Text Line, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and other sites that offer support for bullying, anxiety, depression and substance abuse prevention. The associated messaging includes a disclaimer that 13 Reasons Why is not for everyone. “If you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you, or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult,” says actress Alisha Boe in one of the clips.
Source:: Time – Entertainment