Netflix has renewed the Selena Gomez-produced “13 Reasons Why” for a second season.
The streaming service announced Sunday that the second season of the series about the suicide of a high school girl will debut next year. The series is based on a best-selling book by San Luis Obispo author Jay Asher.
Asher has not responded to recent requests from The Tribune for an interview, but before the show’s first season aired, he said he hoped it would generate conversation about its more controversial themes.
While Netflix doesn’t release ratings information, “13 Reasons Why” has proven to be a conversation-starting drama.
Some have criticized the show for glorifying suicide, which led to Netflix adding an additional warning to the series. And schools throughout the country, including in San Luis Obispo County, have urged caution.
Mesa Middle School in Arroyo Grande shared a Facebook post last week — labeled “IMPORTANT PARENT INFORMATION” — that “strongly encouraged” parents to research the series before allowing their children to watch it.
The school has also posted information about the series on its website, including a “talking points” document from Suicide Awareness Voices of Education and the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Despite some of the concerns, other mental health professionals say the show offers a valuable opportunity for parents and kids to connect and discuss what is often a taboo subject for families.
“Obviously the discussion we’ve had here is very positive because of the dialogue the show opens up,” said Frank Warren, prevention and outreach manager with the San Luis Obispo County mental health behavioral and prevention division. “If this opens up a dialogue for families about mental health and those pressures, that’s a great thing.”
The second season will also be 13 episodes long.
Tribune reporter Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this story.