We constantly hear about how harmful video games can be. While of course screen time can sometimes be problematic, one kid recently used video games in the best way possible: He saved a life by playing them.
Reilly Howard, 14, had recently met a 13-year-old boy from Florida through playing a game online. But one night, the Florida boy was so upset he could barely talk, Reilly told WFSB. “He was crying so much and typed it and said, ‘Tonight is going to be the night [I take my life].”
Reilly kept talking to him. “I knew he didn’t want to be alone,” Reilly said, “and I didn’t want him to go. He’s my friend. I didn’t want him, if it was serious, I didn’t want him to die.” So the teen got on the phone with him and talked to him for hours.
Then he convinced him to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
When Reilly’s parents got home, they stepped in to help. “Teenagers don’t think, ‘You know, I’m just a teenager. Who is going to listen to me?’ But people will, and you can have impact. You just have to show up, and talk to people and listen, and I think that message needs to get out there,” Reilly’s mom, Sheila Reilly, told WFSB.
The East Hampton Board of Education town is honoring Reilly for the amazing way he stepped up, all through online gaming, and ending up saving another boy’s life.
Note: If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can always reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255. They are available 24/7 by phone or online chat.
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