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I want to leave home to better my mental health.

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  • I want to leave home to better my mental health.

    I have been struggling with my mental health for years now and I've been seeing a therapist. It has been getting worse, however. My family has fallen apart and despite my many suggestions and tries, it hasn't gotten better. My dad has a huge negative impact on my mental health and I've tried to talk to him about it. He always shuts me down or makes me feel like it's all my fault. Everytime I try to do something to improve my mental health he judges it and tries to tell me it won't work even if my therapist suggests it. At this point I have so much anxiety being in the house even if I'm by myself. I dread talking to my father and I don't know how much longer I can take it. I have a plan to move in with my boyfriend in a few months right before I turn 17. I will have a car and a job by then and can be financially stable. I want to do this without having to involve the court. Can I move with my parents permission without the court?

  • #2
    Thank you so much for sharing some of your situation with us. We're glad you are reaching out for the help you deserve. Being able to express yourself fully is so important and we are here to listen.

    It's not right that your father -- or any other family member -- doesn't take your mental health issues seriously and even sounds like he is trying to actively subvert your efforts to improve. Such behavior could be considered a form of abuse and you have the right to file an abuse report if you want. You can do that through your state's child abuse reporting hotline or by calling Child Help at 1-800-422-4453 ( But it's totally up to you. We are here to support you as best we can no matter what you decide.

    Since you mention mental health issues you may also want to contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness ( to talk to someone about what you are experiencing. You can do that by calling 1-800-950-6264 or by texting NAMI to 741741.

    We aren't legal experts but we can share with you what we have heard about the question you ask. As long as you get permission from your parents to live with your boyfriend, it doesn't sound like you would necessarily need to go through the court system. Ideally you could draw up a document listing the terms of what your parents are allowing: where you are staying, who you are staying with, how long, etc. You might want to get that document notarized. Of course, if your parents want you to come back home at any time they have that right till you are at least 18. If you refuse to do so they could file a runaway report on you. So it's not as if a one time "permission" means you are no longer under their guardianship. If you'd like to look into emancipation -- which legally dissolves your parent's guardianship -- we can provide ore information on that. Note that emancipation does involve going through the court system.

    We hope this information is helpful. Feel free to reach out to us if you'd like to talk. We also have a large database of resources if you ever need them: shelters, counseling agencies, legal aid, and the like. Or even if you just need to vent, we are here to listen: confidentially and without judgement. Give us a call anytime at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us via the portal at

    Wishing you well,
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)


    • #3
      my boyfriend is 17 and turns 18 in october. He was caught sneaking out...unfortunately his father started yelling at him and within the past week his father has hit him with a closed fist. His step mom has also been smacking him upside the head. he was supposed to leave yesterday night but his ride fell through...his father has abused him physically and verbally as well as his step mom. however his mom lives in kansas and he was supposed to be moving down there. from what I was told and as far as I understand his parents never went to court for custody of him... and he has asked if he could stay at my my house with my family. and considering I live Washington my parents could get in trouble for harboring a minor correct? I was wondering since his parents never went to court couldn't his mother sign temporary guardianship papers for my parents and his dad wouldn't have to sign... this is if I am understanding correctly...Is this possible for this to happen?


      • ccsmod1
        ccsmod1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about your boyfriend's story. We care a lot bout safety here at NRS and it's very troubling to hear that your boyfriend is being hit by his father and stepmom - no one deserves to be abused. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it. If you feel like this is an option you (or he0 want to explore, you may find this website helpful:

        It may be beneficial to speak for your boyfriend to speak with his mother directly about his desire to live with you and your dad. Sometimes custody transfers will need to go through the family court system and it may be beneficial to speak with a legal advocate. If you guys need help locating a legal aid group near you you can check out

        If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

        We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey:

        Stay safe,
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