New season of ’13 Reasons Why’ raises concerns about mental health from metro schools

OLATHE, Kan. -- Addressing teen suicide is an important conversation, and although a popular Netflix show aims to raise awareness about mental health, some critics worry it could do more harm than good.

Season 2 of "13 Reasons Why" will be released Friday. Several school districts have already reached out to parents ahead of the upcoming release.

The Olathe School District emailed a letter to middle and high school parents, encouraging them to start conversations with their teens. Park Hill School District also sent a newsletter recommending parents not let their teens watch the show.

Both districts also provided a list of resources available in the community.

Ellie Klopfenstein, a junior at North Kansas City High School, started an entire awareness week campaign centered around mental health.

"I have struggled with my mental health before, and it is something that I have to keep working on and I know I am not the only one," Klopfenstein said.

With the new season premiere right around the corner, Klopfenstein said the show gets families thinking about the factors which could play a role in suicide, like bullying and cyberbullying.

But, she also worries the show could be glamorizing a sensitive topic.

"I think it has the potential to send the wrong message if you are watching it and not in the best mindset," Klopfenstein said.

Local suicide prevention specialists suggest parents ask teens questions about the show or even watch it together.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, there are resources available at fox4kc.com/YouMatter.