Running Away

Menstuff® provides information for teens who are considering running away or are runaways. Other Emergency Services.


For Teenagers | For Parents

For Teenagers

Are you thinking about running away?
Do you sometimes have problems talking with your parents?
Have you ever been so angry that you thought about leaving home?
Are you having problems at home?
Do you have a friend who wants to run away?
Are you under pressure with your friends or at school?

Crisis Intervention
Getting in Touch While On the Run
Information & Referrals
Going Home
Questions to ask yourself before you run away
Family Communication Tips

Crisis Intervention

The National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) can help you talk it out. They're here to listen! All calls are CONFIDENTIAL and they're available 24 hours a day, 366 days a year. They won't tell you what to do and they're not here to give out advice. They aim to help you help yourself. They use crisis intervention to work through problems and find a plan of action. Help is available. Call 1-800-621-4000 now to speak with someone.

Crisis Invervention is a five-step model to help people in crisis. The five steps are:

The goal of crisis intervention is to help you help yourself. They will use active listening skills to help you process your feelings and the facts about your situation. They will ask questions about the nature of the crisis. They might ask about your relationships with the people in your house and details about communication patterns. It's important for them to make a thorough assessment of your situation and see it from your perspective. Remember, they don't know you or anything about your life. They don't ask questions to be nosey but to look for the source of the problems and trouble. Sometimes the problem is fairly obvious, but in the middle of a crisis it's hard to know which way is up! They can help you to sort it out. They focus on how to control and manage the crisis situation. The NRS will discuss informal and formal options and give appropriate referrals. They have a huge database of agencies and services that can be of assistance. www.nrscrisisline.org/links.htm Finally, they'll help you to develop a detailed plan of action! Help is available! Call 1-800-621-4000 to talk with someone now.

Getting in Touch While On the Run

The NRS can help you get a message to your parents even while you're on the run. Their services are confidential so they won't tell your parents any more than you want them to tell. There are two ways for you to contact your parents: Messages and conference calls.

Information & Referrals

Do you know where to go to find the help you need? Do you have more questions than answers? Where do you find information that you can use?

NRS might not have all the answers, but they'll help you find people and places that do. The NRS has over 100,000 resources that you can use. www.nrscrisisline.org/links.htm They have books that list thousands of different support groups, hotlines, and counseling centers. They have books that discuss legal issues, medical questions, and drug treatment centers. They have listings of runaway shelters and they'll help you call them to ask specific questions about staying there.

Going Home

The NRS administers a program for Greyhound Buslines that helps some runaways get home for free. The rules are: you must be a runaway between the ages of 12-18, you must be returning to your legal guardian, and there has to be a verifiable runaway report filed with your hometown police department. The process starts when you call the NRS at 1-800-621-4000. They will talk to you about why you ran and what makes you feel ready to return home. Then they'll make a conference call between you and your legal guardian. They will ask your legal guardian for a copy of your runaway report. Then the NRS will contact Greyhound with you to make travel arrangements.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Run Away

You can call the National Runway Switchboard at 1-800-421-4000 any time of the day or night. Whether you are thinking of running or have run, they can help you.

Family Communication Tips

There are people and places in your community that can help your family communicate better. For ideas and referrals, call the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-621-4000.

For Parents

Are you having problems communicating with your teen?
Do you sometimes fight about school, household responsibilities, or friends?
Is it hard being a single parent or trying to blend two families together?
Has your child run away or are they threatening to run away?

Crisis Intervention
Message Service
Information & Referrals
Searching for Runaways
Family Communication Tips

Crisis Intervention

NRS can help you just by talking. They know how hard it can be to find a good listener but that's what they do best. They use the crisis intervention model to work through problems and develop a plan of action. Sometimes an outside party will have a different perspective on the situation. It can help to talk to a stranger about it and get their feedback. It's okay if you just need to vent. There can be a lot of pressure and frustration at home and it's alright to call and tell us how you're feeling. Help is available! Call 1-800-621-4000 to speak with someone now.

Crisis Intervention is a five-step model to help people in crisis. The five steps are:

The goal of crisis intervention is to help you help yourself. They will use active listening skills to help you process your feelings and the facts about your situation. They will ask questions about the nature of the crisis. They might ask about your relationships with the people in your house and details about communication patterns. It's important for them to make a thorough assessment of your situation and see it from your perspective. Remember, they don't know you or anything about your life. They don't ask questions to be nosey but to look for the source of the problems and trouble. Sometimes the problem is fairly obvious, but in the middle of a crisis it's hard to know which way is up! They can help you sort it out. They focus on how to control and manage the crisis cituation. The NRS will discuss informal and formal options and give appropriate referrals. They have a huge database of agencies and services that can be of assistance. www.nrscrisisline.org/links.htm Finally, they'll help you to develop a detailed plan of action. Help is available! Call 1-800-621-4000 to talk with someone now.

Message Service

The NRS runs a message service to help parents and runaways communicate. If your child is away from home, you leave a message for them with NRS. Parents have left messages like, "We love you and miss you and want you to come home" and "Please call and let someone know you're alright. We're very worried. We want to work things out." Once you leave your message with the NRS, call anyone you think might have contact with your child. Tell them that you have left a message with the NRS and your child can call confidentially to pick up the message at 1-800-621-4000. Messages are a safe way for runaways to get information from you and to you. If they call NRS, they will offer to deliver a message from them back to you. It's a good way to initiate communication. Leaving a message is quick and simple. Call 1-800-621-4000 to leave a message.

Information & Referrals

If you need some phone numbers for places that can help, NRS can get you connected to the right resources. They can help make calls to find the right ones for you.

A popular request is family counseling. Family counseling is a great resource for everyone. Many parents want their kids to get some help that will ultimately change their behavior. Sometimes to really help the kids, parents need to go, too. Sometimes it helps parents to go even if the youth doesn't. Some people think counseling means failure or weakness but it really means strength and hope. Counseling can provide on-going support for situations that may have been months or even years in the making. Counseling is a tool to help people to help themselves. Counselors know that you are the true expert on your situation. They just try to help you find ways to deal with problems happening in your life. A good way to start is by calling people or agencies that provide counseling services and talking with them. The NRS can give you those numbers.

Searching for Runaways

Is your child a runaway? Have they left home without your permission? Being the parent of a missing or runaway child is a terrible situation with feelings of desperation, frustration, or anxiety. Here are some ideas for how to conduct a search:

Family Communication Tips

There are people and places in your community that can help your family communicate better. For ideas and referrals, call the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-621-4000.

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You cannot meet the crisis of today tomorrow. - Saul Alinsky



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