Dear Mercury Bay Area School Community
You may recall much discussion in the media regarding season one of the TV show 13 Reasons Why. We have now been advised that season two will be released on Friday 18th of May, 2018.
The Ministry of Education have provided this information below, and we feel it is important to pass this onto you.
13 Reasons Why
Season two of the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is due for release worldwide Friday 18 May.
This show was widely watched by teenagers last year. The themes of suicide, sexual assault, bullying and other issues led to many viewers feeling distressed and in need of support. It is expected that similar and equally confronting themes will be present in this upcoming season.
In the lead-up to watching the second season, you should be aware that some young people may re-watch the first season, or watch it for the first time. Feedback from young people is that it accurately represented the issues they face in their lives. Banning, or recommending a ban on viewing it can be more harmful than helpful as young people will still watch it but feel they have to hide that from adults.
The issues raised in the series are significant, and the series offers a good opportunity to talk to our young people about these difficult life events, but it is important that those conversations are safe ones. Where a young person is already in a vulnerable space, it may be wise to delay watching the series or watching with an adult which allows for ongoing shared conversation around the topic. It is also highly recommended that young people NOT ‘binge’ watch either season as this can lead to them over identifying with the characters and becoming less sensitive to the graphic nature of the themes.
We are working with other Government agencies and mental health providers to ensure specific information is available to support any discussions with young people or their parents after they view this new series. This is being developed as agencies are able to view the series, so is not yet complete. However, this will be available to you before the series is released. There will be information on the Mental Health Foundation website.
In the interim, this article from the Mental Health Foundation is a good start. The Foundation also has information on its website.
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.
If you, or parents or whanau, are concerned about a young person in crisis now, get help. The Mental Health Foundation have a list of contacts, or phone your 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, or contacting Lifeline 24/7 on 0800 54 33 54.
At this point the school has not been given further information. As this becomes available to us we will share it with you.
John Wright - Principal