The second season of 13 Reasons Why is going to be a bit different.
Following passionate conversations that came from the show's first season — which explicitly dealt with tough topics including bullying, mental health, suicide, and sexual assault — Netflix commissioned a study through Northwestern University's Center on Media and Human Development.
They surveyed 5,400 teens, young adults, and parents in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand to determine what the show did well, and the areas in which they could improve moving forward.
Some key takeaways from the study's global report include:
— 74% to 80% of teens and young adults surveyed agreed that the issues portrayed on the show are issues people their age deal with, and 63% to 74% felt the intensity was appropriate
— The show encouraged 67% to 76% of teens and young adults to be more considerate of how they treat others, and 45% to 60% reached out to someone to apologize for how they had treated them
— 59% to 88% of teens and young adults and 44% to 68% of adults (with even higher percentages in Brazil) reported an increased understanding of and the ability to process the hard topics addressed in the show
— The show sparked many helpful conversations within and across age groups, but over half of teens and young adults, and even more parents, wanted more discussion in the show about what viewers could do to help those who may be suffering, and 62% to 74% of parents wanted more resources from mental health professionals
In response to the surveys, Netflix are making some changes. In addition to bulking up the resources available on 13ReasonsWhy.info, including adding a viewing guide to facilitate more nuanced conversation, each season will begin with a custom video message from the cast members (as themselves, not their characters) discussing how to get help and support.