Warning to Kiwi parents: New season of controversial '13 Reasons Why' hits Netflix today

The third season of the controversial teen drama 13 Reasons Why is set to hit Netflix today and parents are being warned to be prepared for its release.

The Mental Health Foundation has advised Kiwi parents on how they can talk about the show’s explicit and potentially scenes – which include depression, rape and suicide – with their children if they happen to watch it.

Photo / Netflix

While the new season of the show seems to focus less on suicide, the Mental Health Foundations still urges parents to understand the risks that come with their teenagers viewing the content.

"Be aware that your kids are likely to be watching this get involved with conversations with them," Shaun Robinson, of the Mental Health Foundation told RNZ.

"Watch it with them or watch it yourself so you have an idea of what they are viewing. That also means thinking about season one or two because when a new season is produced ... it leads to interest in re-watching the earlier series." 

Photo / Netflix

Chief Censor David Shanks also reminded parents that the Netflix show will continue to have an R18 rating.

"The launch of this new season may well have some people going back to watch the series from the beginning. So again parents and caregivers should be aware of this," Shanks told RNZ.

"Overall the content of this new series, if assessed on its own, would likely merit a lower classification, such as an RP16. But there is a significant range of themes and issues covered that could impact on viewers in different ways, depending on their situation and experiences."

The third season of 13 Reasons Why centres around the murder of Bryce Walker – the show's villain - and will be the first season without Hannah Baker, played by actress Katherine Langford, who graphically committed suicide in the show’s first season. 

Netflix was heavily criticised when 13 Reasons Why first debuted two years ago for its graphic scenes, disturbing themes, and lack of trigger warnings. Many social scientists also noted that the show glorified and may have contributed to a rise in teen suicide.

Netflix has since added warning messages before each episode of the series and edited Hannah Baker's graphic suicide scene from season one.


If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.


  • LIFELINE:0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland (available 24/7)
    • SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
    • YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 ,free text 234 or email [email protected]
    • NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
    • KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
    • WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
    • DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
    • SAMARITANS – 0800 726 666.