Top tips for adults supporting younger viewers
- Don't ban the show. Young people are likely to find other ways to watch it but won't feel able to talk to you if they are upset or concerned about what they've seen.
- If you’re supporting a young person who may be deeply affected by some of the issues in the show, you can have a conversation with them about whether it’s a good idea for them to watch it at this moment. Respect whatever decision they make and make sure they know where to get support if they need it at any time.
- Encourage them to take breaks and pause scenes when needed. You might also suggest they watch the show one episode at a time.
- Have open and honest conversations with young people. Respect their opinions even when you don’t agree. Ask them questions to guide them to think critically about the show such as, “what do you think would happen if something like this happened at your school?" How would you and your friends support each other?"
- Watch it together if possible (or just watch it yourself or read an online recap so you understand what is happening on the show).
- Remember you don’t have to have all the answers.
Top tips for supporting friends
If a young person is struggling with the issues shown in 13 Reasons Why, or is upset after watching it, they’re most likely to turn to a mate for support instead of an adult.
Sometimes supporting a friend can feel overwhelming and you may not know how to support them. Remember that you can’t do this on your own. Have a think about who else you could talk to (parents, friends, whanau, teachers, coaches or counsellors) and talk to your friend about bringing other people into the loop.
Here are some top tips
- Stay calm – hearing what your friend is thinking or feeling, or about something they have been through, might be hard for you. Try taking a few deep breaths and give yourself some time to think before reacting.
- Give them your attention and really listen – don’t get distracted by your phone or the tv. Let them speak and try to listen without judgement.
- Believe them – trust that what they are telling you is true and let them know you believe them. This can make a huge difference.
- Ask your friend what they need from you – they probably know what would help, and there might be something you can do, or they may need you to help them find an adult or professional who can help.
- Suggest help – your friend might need more help than you can offer. If you’re not sure what help is available, talk to your school counsellor.
- Don’t keep secrets if your mate is in danger – if you’re worried your friend might hurt themselves, you can’t keep it a secret. If it’s an emergency, call 111. Otherwise, tell a trusted adult or call a helpline.
- Look after yourself – your own wellbeing and safety are just as important. Make sure you have someone supporting you and take time to do things that make you feel good.