The teen drama centers around Hannah (Katherine Langford), a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind a box of recordings explaining why she decided to take her own life. The show portrayed her death in a graphic scene which saw Hannah slit her wrists, sparking debates about whether or not the scene was necessary or sensationalized.
Amid complaints from parents who felt the show glorified suicide, Netflix will be providing additional resources to help facilitate the important conversations that arise regarding the sensitive topics addressed in the series, including sexual assault and bullying.
"Research indicated the majority of parents felt that while the show brought up important topics, they wanted more resources from us. So, in advance of Season 2, we're adding the following new tools and ways to support our viewer," Netflix's Vice President of Original Series, Brian Wright, said on the company's blog.
For the new season, the streaming service will be adding a new after show featuring actors, experts and educators who will participate in more informed conversations about the events of each episode. It will be an expansion of Beyond the Reasons, the half-hour companion piece for Season 1 which featured behind-the-scenes interviews.
Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why will also include a special introduction at the start the season in which the show's actors discuss the different ways viewers can receive help should they seek it. Plus, the companion website 13ReasonsWhy.Info, which offers resources for teens considering self-harm or suicide, will now come with a viewing guide to help start those tough conversations.
According to a study commissioned by Netflix with Northwestern University's Center on Media and Human Development, while the majority of parents found the lack of supporting resources an issue, the majority of teen and young adult participants said 13 Reasons Why helped them feel more comfortable processing the topics discussed. Over half of the teens surveyed said they apologized to someone for how they had treated them in the past, and nearly three-quarters said that they tried to be more considerate of others after watching the first season.
"The hope is that the steps we're taking now will help support more meaningful conversations as Season 2 rolls out later this year. We've seen in our research that teens took positive action after watching the series, and now — more than ever — we are seeing the power and compassion of this generation advocating on behalf of themselves and their peers," Wright concluded.
Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why is expected to arrive sometime this year. In the meantime, Season 1 is currently available to stream on Netflix.