11-year-old develops video game to educate peers about mental health

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MONTREAL, Canada — An 11-year-old boy has created a video game aimed at educating kids about mental health.

Luke Toledo, of Motreal, Canada, lost his father to suicide when he was just two years old, CTV News reports.  Since then, conversations surrounding depression and mental health have played a significant role in his life.

Throughout his childhood, Toledo used play therapy to help him understand and communicate his feelings, as well as cope with his loss.

Recently, after attending a youth conference, Toledo was inspired to find a way to help others understand mental health, so he decided to build a video game.

He created the game inside the gaming platform “Roblox.”  His game allows players to navigate their characters through the journey of depression.

The characters jump over gray blocks that represent depression and are then presented with different facts about mental health.

One message, for example, reportedly reads “depression is a disease; it is not a person’s fault.”

As the game progresses, the obstacle course changes to represent a happier and more colorful atmosphere.  According to the news outlet, this is Toledo’s way of saying “it gets better.”

Toledo already has plans to enhance his game and continue developing new ways to help others.  He reportedly hopes to reduce stigma, teach his peers about the importance of mental health and encourage them to seek help when it’s needed.

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