First, the good news. Season 2 of this internationally popular Netflix series will include content warnings, support referral advice from cast members, a downloadable discussion guide, and a less glamorous portrayal of suicide. Producer Brian Yorkey, quoted in BuzzFeed, hopes that viewers will understand that “Silence, in the case of things like teen suicide and sexual assault and teen mental health, is the enemy.”
Now the bad news. Season 2 trailers give the impression that suicide may devastate your family and friends, but it leaves glamour, intrigue, and romance in its wake. For a teen whose experiences parental neglect, social rejection, bullying, or assault, what could be more seductive than stratospheric popularity?
More bad news: It looks as if Season 2 will once again portray mental health care as incompetent and unprofessional. I would love to be wrong about my hunch, because distressed teens are unlikely to seek treatment if their perception of mental health care is bleak.
I hope this article I wrote for the ACA last year provides context and guidance for all adults who care for young people. I am also heartened by the proactive steps the producers of 13 Reasons Why have taken to encourage healthy discussion on suicide prevention. I hope my readers will do the same. This article and https://13reasonswhy.info/ are excellent places to start.