Many excellent organizations have used teen crisis telephone lines for years. But now, many of them are letting kids connect with them via text. The kids tend to be more open, they can communicate about issues of abuse even if their abuser is in the same room, and the data they share can ultimately be used to help them. Nancy Lublin, one of the people at the forefront of helping teens (and a friend of mine), explains: “My dream is that public health officials will use this data and tailor public policy solutions around it.”

+ Want to help kids’ concentration and social skills (and probably a lot more)? Then let them play.