How Should Shows For Teens Handle Topics Such As Suicide? Netflix May Have An Answer.

Parents should be involved, too.

Trigger warning: This post discusses suicide and mental health.

One of Netflix's most talked-about shows yet, 13 Reasons Why, has had its fair share of praise and criticisms — and the streaming service knows exactly that.


Given the fact that 13 Reasons Why deals with tough topics — such as bullying, substance abuse, depression, mental health, and suicide — Netflix decided to commission a study from Northwestern University. It did so in the hopes that season 2 will improve upon the base season 1 put forth and, after getting results, is implementing a few changes.

Per the study, which was released March 21, 71 percent of teens and young adults found 13 Reasons Why relatable overall. Better yet, about three-quarters of them said the show helped them feel comfortable processing the aforementioned topics (and others, too). More than half actually reached out to apologize to someone they mistreated and about three-quarters said they will try to be more considerate of how they treat others. As for parents, a majority of them felt that the show helped bring up these important topics but that more resources would be useful.

In response to this, Netflix plans on continuing a few things from season 1 and adding a few things for season 2 — which will be out later this year.

First up is a custom intro to each season that includes the cast out of character discussing how viewers can get help if needed, as two-thirds of parents asked for this.

Not surprisingly, more than half of parents asked for more resources. That's why Netflix will be adding further support to 13ReasonsWhy.Info. Additionally, it is working with outside groups around the world to provide support within their communities for the topics the show discusses.

Something 13 Reasons Why will be bringing back for season 2 that was a hit with parents in season 1 is the after-show Beyond the Reasons. This companion show features the cast, experts, and educators working to keep viewers informed.

"We've seen in our research that teens took positive action after watching the series, and now — more than ever — we are seeing the power and compassion of this generation advocating on behalf of themselves and their peers," Brian Wright, Netflix's vice president of Original Series, said in a press release.

13 Reasons Why has proven that they can get a conversation started and, throughout ups and downs, want to make sure young viewers have access to the info they need. Plus, Netflix is ensuring that it's doing it the right way — by asking those young viewers and their parents.

If you or a loved one are in a crisis, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with a skilled, trained counselor who is ready to listen to you.

(H/T: HelloGiggles)

Cover image Beth Dubber / Netflix


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