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5 Things I Hope to See in the Second Season of '13 Reasons Why'

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“13 Reasons Why” has stormed the nation with a captivating story of a girl who takes her own life and leaves behind 13 tapes explaining how each person contributed to her death. Unfortunately, Hannah never received help. The show was often graphic and many argue it reinforced the stigma around suicide instead of lessening it. Netflix has announced the continuation of the series beyond the novel’s plot.

Here’s what I am hoping season two includes:

1. I hope Alex receives proper mental health treatment.

I hope he survives his suicide attempt and can get the help he needs. Unfortunately, Hannah never got admitted to a psychiatric hospital or received helpful advice from her counselor. In the second season, “13 Reasons Why” has a chance to show the hard, but worthy road of recovery from mental illness. I hope we will see Alex again to show others there is hope.

2. I hope we see how Hannah’s parents grieve.

Grieving looks different for everyone, but I don’t really think we saw the full extent of what Hannah’s death did to her parents. My hope is we will see the Bakers move through their grieving process.

3. I hope the second season depicts how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects survivors of sexual assault.

Specifically, I hope the season will show Jessica navigating PTSD after her rape. I think PTSD has a great stigma around it and people don’t really know what it looks like. PTSD can occur from any type of traumatic event, not just from war. If “13 Reasons Why” portrays it correctly, my hope is it will evoke awareness for the very real issue.

4. I hope the show depicts punishment for perpetrators of sexual assault.

I believe Bryce, the one who raped Hannah, needs to go to jail not only because what he did was awful, but to show others — and the courts — perpetrators of sexual violence cannot and should not get away with it.

5. I hope the show explores struggling with anxiety symptoms.

Throughout the first season, we saw characters like Clay Jensen struggle with their own mental health as well. By showing him benefitting from therapy or possibly being brought back to reality after an anxiety attack, I think there is a real opportunity to educate and encourage people to get help for their own mental health struggles.

I hope “13 Reasons Why” will develop a way to portray mental illness in a raw and truthful manner. I believe the millions of people who struggle with mental illness deserve it.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Photo via “13 Reasons Why” Facebook page.

Originally published: May 11, 2017
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