13 Reasons Why: Update for School Counselors

Read Time:  min |  Crisis Response, Your Program

13 Reasons Why is a book, and more popularly, a Netflix show about the suicide of a high school student, Hannah, and the tapes she left behind for her fellow students about the time leading up to her death.

The first season was released in Spring 2017 and you can read more about my thoughts on Season 1.

Season 2 of the show is set to air Friday, May 18th, 2018. This season, Netflix has added a warning before each episode about the sensitive material and PSAs from cast members about mental health resources.

The second season is expected to add more to the Hannah narrative and to follow the aftermath of Jessica’s rape. In possible good news for school counselors, Mr. Porter, the counselor who knew about Hannah’s suicidal ideation but did nothing “will be coming to terms with the way that he let Hannah down and will be determined not to let any kids down in the future. His story is one of the most compelling to me. We’ll see a man who is determined to reach every kid who needs to be reached and help every kid who needs to be helped, whatever it takes” (The Hollywood Reporter).

Tips for 13 Reasons Why, Season 2

Make sure that all staff in your building know the referral process for students that may disclose to them.

If your school does not have policies and procedures for preventing suicide, talk with your school level leaders to put one in place. Check out our Suicide Prevention Best Practices for more ideas.

Communicate with parents about the release of season 2 and encourage them to preview the show before allowing their children to watch it.

Share the resource 13reasonswhy.info with parents and other adults who support students.

Check out the 13 Reasons Why discussion guide.

Some suicide prevention apps can be a useful tool for parents who need more information about suicide prevention.

Review the 13 Reasons Why ASCA page.

Advocate for the role of school counselors in your building. Don’t let Mr. Porter be the model for school counseling that comes to students’, parents’, teachers’, and administrators’ minds.

Have your students been talking about Season 2? Whether we’re ready or not, it’s coming.

How are you planning to respond proactively to support your students?

13 Reasons Why. Season 2 Tips for School Counselors and School Staff