Prince William Had an Emotional Meeting with the Mother of a Suicide Victim, and the Video Is a Tear-Jerker
Prince William is actively involved in campaigns to combat cyberbullying, and his investment in the cause isn't just lip service. He took Thursday to visit Google's London headquarters to urge tech companies to "innovate, collaborate, and educate" people on the dangers of online abuse after spending hours with people who know the realities of cyberbullying firsthand.
On Wednesday, the royal met with a mother who lost her son to suicide and a teen who had considered suicide after facing cyberbullying, and the video of the encounter could move you to tears.
"It's one thing when it happens in the playground and it's visible there, and parents and teachers and other children can see it. Online, you're the ony one who sees it, and it's so personal isn't it? It goes straight to your room," Prince William said.
The trio met at Kensington Palace so that Prince William could hear stories of cyberbullying and suicide from people who experienced it personally from different perspectives.
Lucy Alexander shared the story of her son, Felix, who took his own life after facing online abuse. Alexander now raises awareness for these issues herself.
“I sort of feel that Felix has given me a job to do, and my job is to make sure that we try and help as many other people like him," Alexander told Prince William.
Teenager Chloe Hine was also at the meeting. She attempted to take her own life when she was 13 years old after being cyberbullied.
Prince William responded to their stories with compassion and a message for those watching the videos.
"I think it's worth reminding everyone what the human tragedy of what we're talking about here isn't just about companies and about online stuff," he said. "It's actually real lives that get affected and the consequences, that's the big thing, the consequences of what happens if things are not kept in check in terms of what we say and what we do and we are still responsible for our own actions online. This anonymity, as you were saying, is really really dangerous."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).