By Katrina Kerr-Bell | Posted: Monday September 9, 2019
You may recall the public discussion generated by last year’s Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Season three was released on 23 August. Despite the R16 rating, this show was widely watched by teenagers.
Themes of suicide, sexual assault, consent, bullying and other issues made some viewers feel distressed and in need of support. Similar and equally confronting themes will be presented in series three. In the lead-up to the release, some young people, may re-watch the first season, or watch it, for the first time.
Young people feel the show represents issues they face. Banning or recommending a ban on viewing it can be harmful, as young people may still watch it but feel they have to hide that from adults. The issues raised in the series are significant and offers a good opportunity to talk to our young people about the difficult life events - but it is important that those conversations are safe ones. We are working with other agencies to ensure information is available to support and encourage safe conversations between young people and their parents, or other trusted adults if they view this series. Some of the information is already available on Mental Health Foundation website.
We have a strong pastoral network at Kavanagh College and we are willing to talk with families and individuals who may need support at any time. Please feel free at any time to contact the school and discuss any concerns. We have attached some suggest conversations starters for you to have a home with your teenager about this series if they are watching it, and a list of people to contact if you should have any concerns.
A simple, “I hear about this show – have you heard of it?” can start the conversation. Try to adopt a conversational tone as opposed to a worried, threatened interrogational tone. You might add, “it’s stirring up a lot of controversy about suicide. What do you think?” You can ask, “have you seen it or do you want to see it?” “Do you think that’s how some kids really experience high school or is it dramatized?”
Kavanagh College Pastoral Team
Your Child’s Tutor Teacher
Liz Cameron firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross McKinnon email@example.com
Year 7 Jane DeGraaf firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 8 Shaun Haig email@example.com
Year 9 Iris Bugarski firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 10 Emily Stevens email@example.com
Year 11 Jean Allibone firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 12 Ian Adamson email@example.com
Year 13 Rachel Mortimer firstname.lastname@example.org
SENCO Lynley Harris email@example.com
Dean of Maori Tim Lucas firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean of Pasifika email@example.com
Year 7-9 Mike Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 10-11 Katrina Kerr-Bell email@example.com
Year 12-13 Tricia James firstname.lastname@example.org
A few studies that showed an increase in suicide rates among young people in some parts of the world (e.g. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/release-13-reasons-why-associated-increase-youth-suicide-rates).
A discussion guide, there are other excellent resources available via the Mental Health Foundation website https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/connecting-through-korero/ -