Season 2 of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was released on May 18, and it’s even more concerning than the first season. This season contains situations that may be upsetting for students, including gun violence, a planned school shooting, a rape scene, drug abuse, slut shaming and the attempt to heal after a suicide. If your child is interested in the show, we encourage you to watch each episode with them and talk about it.
This can be a difficult time of year as students prepare for change – moving to a new school or home, losing friends or adults they know and trust, and preparing for the loneliness and lack of structure that summer may bring. Watching the show during this time may not be helpful if they are already struggling with emotional issues or have experienced trauma or loss.
What can parents do?
- Assure your child that their problems matter — it’s important to talk to an adult if there is something going on in their life or they are worried about their friends
- Find out who they identify as safe and helpful adults in their world (counsellors, coaches, family, teachers, faith leaders, crisis lines, etc)
- Provide ideas for healthy activities such as exercise, getting outside, eating and sleeping well
- Explain that the show is fictitious entertainment that uses drama and shocking emotional situations to keep us watching. Suicide is permanent, and the victim does not share their story after their death.
- Remind them that mood changes are normal and happen to everyone – stress and distress can teach us resilience and help us grow
- Talk with your child about how gossip and rumours can be damaging, hurtful and unnecessary
For more information contact your school or any of the following agencies:
- Barrhead Community Health Services – 780-674-8243, 1-877-303-2642 (24 hr Help Line)
- Westlock Community Health Services – 780-349-5246, 1-877-303-2642 (24 hr Help Line)
- Alberta Mental Health Help Line – 1-877-303-2642 (24 hr)
- Kid’s Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868
- Alberta Supports Contact Centre — 1-855-4HELPAB
- Visit 13reasonswhy.info
Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff. — Catherine M. Wallace
Written by PHPS Coordinator of School Counselling Colleen Teske and PHPS Director of Student Services Rob McGarva.