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I’m 16 and thinking about running away

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  • ccsmod15

    Thank you for reaching out to us. We recognize that it takes a lot of courage to ask for help, and we appreciate you taking the time to share what has been going on at home. It sounds like you are having a tough time with your mental health, and you feel that the dynamics at home with your parents has made it difficult for you to stay mentally healthy. Please know that, although we cannot tell you what to do, we are here to support you.

    It sounds like you have been feeling overwhelmed and you are fearing the situation might end in suicide if you are not able to put some space between yourself and your parents. Your safety and well-being is so very important to us. If you are feeling unsafe or feel that you are in immediate risk of harming yourself, please reach out to 911 and seek emergency assistance immediately. If you are contemplating suicide and need someone to talk to, organizations like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available at 1.800.273.TALK (8255) and, is a great resource for support. Often, having a safe space to share how you are feeling may help you explore a variety of solutions. Please know that, although your situation has been difficult for you, you are not alone. We are here to support you as best we can.

    It sounds like your aunt and grandma were able to provide a temporary relief to the stress you have been feeling at home, but you suspect you would not be able to move to New York to live with them. Although we are not legal experts, from what we understand, the easiest way to leave home is with the consent of your parent or legal guardian. We understand that this can be a challenging conversation, and it may help to have a family friend or relative help you communicate how you have been feeling. Another way a minor would be able to leave home is through Child Protective Services if safety is concern. A third option to leave home as a minor is by looking into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can independently support yourself financially. Emancipation can be a lengthy process and may include court fees. If this is something you are considering, we can help you identify legal resources. While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.

    In your message, you discuss at length the challenges to your mental health that include a diagnosis of depression, while living with your parents. One option might be to touch base with your therapist or mental health professional to help you identify ways of coping with your situation at home. If this is not an option available to you, you might consider reaching out to your school to find out if there is a school psychologist or social worker that you can reach out to. If you do not have access to these resources, organizations like NAMI, available M-F 10:00am - 8:00pm ET at 800.950.NAMI (6264), can help answer some of your questions and offer support in accessing mental health resources.

    Whatever you decide, know that we are here to support you. We cannot tell you what to do, but we will do our best to help support you as you figure out your next steps. You can reach us 24/7 by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), or via chat by visiting (click on the chat button). If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. We are here to listen, here to help.

    Stay safe,
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 04-12-2021, 08:17 AM.

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  • Guest
    Guest started a topic I’m 16 and thinking about running away

    I’m 16 and thinking about running away

    I’m 16 years old and I live in Georgia. I’ve been suffering with depression and anxiety that stems from my parents. My parents have always favored my younger sister over me but I just brushed it off as them being tougher on me because i’m the oldest. My mother severely verbally abused me when I was middle school aged and in my early highschool years. She fat shamed me, compared me to her when she was my age and how much better she was than me, and forced me to do activities I really didn’t want to do. She would screamed at me and there has been a few occasions where she would slap me and throw things at me.

    I don’t ask for much, but whenever i make a simple request i am denied while my sister gets whatever she wants. My mother always makes promises to me but never follows through.

    Recently I’ve fallen into a very deep depression and have contemplated suicide often. I feel a huge amount of pressure from my parents and it’s suffocating.

    I recently was able to spend a week with my aunt and grandma alone. While I had a ton of stressful school work to do that would usually cause me to tear my hair out, i was calm happy and not stressed. Instead of crying all the time, waking up in the middle of the night frequently, and constantly scratching at myself like I usually do at home non of those behaviors occurred while i was away.

    The day I got back I cried myself to sleep because i felt the pressure from my parents again. I then began to realize that the cause of all my stress, anxiety, and depression was my mother and father. I’ve been wanting to leave my home for a while, but i’ve never been so desperate to escape.

    I feel like I am at risk of killing myself if i don’t get help soon. I talked to my aunt about it and she told me that my parents love me and they are under stress too and they don’t mean it and I should feel sorry for them. But if they didn’t mean it, why do they do it? I am obligated to love my family, so I do, but this becoming too much for me to handle. I’m just so lost and don’t know where to turn. I can’t go to my grandmas and aunts house because they live in New York, however my Boyfriend who lives in Alabama is more than willing to allow me to seek shelter in his home. But I don’t want to get him or his parents in trouble, and I don’t want to get sent back home where my parents with get mad at me.

    The long and short of it is I need to get out of here before I harm myself to the point of no return. I just don’t feel mentally safe here. I need help.

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