13 Reasons Why

May 18, 2018

As you will be aware, the second season of 13 Reasons Why is being released this Friday, 18th May 2018.  It will be released at 7:00pm New Zealand Time.  All 13 episodes will be available to view at this time. 

The Ministry of Health has been working with other Government agencies and service providers to develop resources around this series.

Our advice is that restricting young people from watching the series is unhelpful, as they may then hide their distress from adults.  Where a young person is already in a vulnerable space, it may be wise to suggest they delay watching the series, or watch with an adult to allow for ongoing shared conversation around the topic.

The Mental Health Foundation has a hub – www.mentalhealth.org.nz/13ReasonsWhy – which includes information on where to go for assistance.

The Mental Health Foundation and the Office of Film and Literature Classification are developing an episode-by-episode discussion guide which covers off key themes in each episode, including information about helping vulnerable people who may be affected after viewing these scenes, and where to go for more help.  This resource will be available on the Mental Health Foundation hub page and the Office of Film and Literature Classification website from 7:01pm this Friday.  A list of these themes is below.  Due to non-disclosure agreements, more in-depth information cannot be provided, but please check the Mental Health Foundation hub and the discussion guide once it is released.

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.

Netflix has provided information to Government agencies and services and created a website to assist viewers, their parents and caregivers. 

Young people may watch this series in one session.  This would mean they would finish it around 8:00am on Saturday morning.  Young people should seek a trusted adult for help if they are distressed after viewing the content – however some of this content may be viewed in the middle of the night, when parents, teachers, school counsellors etc may be asleep or unavailable. 

Parents or whanau concerned about a young person in crisis should be encouraged to seek help.  The Mental Health Foundation has a list of help contacts, or they can phone their local District Health Board’s Mental Health Crisis Team (CATT Team).  Support is also available from a trained counsellor anytime by calling or texting 1737. 

Key themes
· Sexual assault, Bullying, Drug taking, Suicide, Domestic violence, Gun violence, Self-harm, Serious assault