An Auckland girls' school has issued a warning to parents ahead of the release of the second season of a controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
Epsom Girls Grammar School sent a note out to parents warning them the show starts screening on Thursday, NZME reports.
"The themes of suicide, sexual assault, bullying and the unhelpfulness of talking to adults led many viewers to feel distressed and ongoing discussion to occur throughout the community," it read.
"It is expected that similar and equally confronting themes will be present in the upcoming season."
The first season of 13 Reasons Why centred on the self-inflicted death of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, who leaves behind 13 tapes - one for each of the people she says caused her to end her life.
It became embroiled in drama after its release for its prominent and often explicit themes of rape, bullying and suicide.
New Zealand's Mental Health Foundation joined experts around the world accusing the show for being potentially harmful.
"It's actually quite an unethical programme and it's really exploiting young people and their concerns, and trivialising topics around mental health and suicide," chief executive Shaun Robinson told Radio NZ.
"I am very concerned about the very graphic and detailed portrayal of how Hannah takes her own life... I'm very concerned that this could seriously put young people's lives at risk."
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Epsom Girls also shared the Office of Film and Literature Classification guide to challenging media with parents and students, which guides viewers to critically challenge what they are watching and talk through sensitive issues.
All episodes of the second season will be available on Friday.
Where to get help:
- Lifeline: 0800 543 354
- Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO
- Youthline: 0800 376 633 or free text 234, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754