National Runaway Prevention Month

Lisa SchumacherArticles

Website-Runaway Prevention Month
Wasatch Behavioral Health Commemorates National Runaway Prevention Month in November
[Provo, UT – 12 November 2021] — According to Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, and at least one in 30 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year. They may be coach surfing, sleeping on the streets, or staying in shelters.

To help reduce runaway incidents and youth homelessness and recognize November as National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM), Wasatch Behavioral Health  is working to raise awareness of the issues faced by runaway and homeless youth and educate Utah and Wasatch county residents about strategies that help prevent youth from running away from home.

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Young people who have been forced out of their homes or have chosen to leave on their own may find themselves in dangerous situations that can impair both their physical and mental health.  Additionally, being homeless can impede a young person’s chance for success. As we work to end youth homelessness, we’re joining forces with other organizations and individuals nationwide to show homeless youth they are not invisible, they are not alone, and help is available.”

National Runaway Prevention Month brings to light the issues runaway and homeless youth face every day and highlights the resources available to support youth in crisis. Resources such as the National Runaway Safeline’s 24-hour hotline and online crisis services, plus counseling services, shelters, food pantries, employment training programs, and more can make a measurable difference to youth who are considering running away as well as those living on the streets.

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“During National Runaway Prevention Month, it is critical that we engage as many communities as possible to support adolescents and keep youth safe and off the streets,” said Susan Frankel, CEO of the National Runaway Safeline, the organization that spearheads NRPM. “Since the start of the pandemic, youth have endured significant mental health challenges, and now more than ever, they need to know reliable, trustworthy help is available.”

Research has shown that family dynamics (i.e., conflict over rules, divorce, blended families and teen parenting) strongly affect a young person’s desire to run away. By creating a safe and accepting home environment where youth are encouraged to be honest, the likelihood of them running away may be reduced or prevented.

Image of runaway youth

Do you know a youth who has runaway or is at high risk for running away?  Vantage Point may be able to help. Vantage Point is a shelter for youth ages 12-17 where they can stay while counselors help to resolve problems at home. We are in the process of remodeling a building and will be opening Vantage Point-North in American Fork sometime this winter. Click to learn more about Vantage Point.

Learn more about National Runaway Prevention Month.