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This is the fourth instalment in our series on handling stressful situations in life.

Running away

 
Running away can be a frightening experience - for both you and your parents. A runaway becomes vulnerable as soon as he or she leaves home - potentially falling victim to drugs, drinking, crime, sexual exploitation, pornography, and/or prostitution.

If you are thinking about running away, DON'T. First, identify people who can assist you. Talk about your problems and concerns with your parents, friends, teachers, a mental health professional, a clergy member, or other trusted adult. Don't hesitate to seek the assistance of a trained counselor or professional. To identify qualified professionals in your area contact the local Department of Social Services, Family Services, or other public or private agencies that help families. Also, members of the clergy, school personnel, or the law enforcement community can direct you to available services and resources.

Remember, there is a solution to every problem, and you need to keep asking until you get the help you need to safely resolve your situation.

Second, if you need to leave your home environment, seek out a safe haven in your community.

Once home, try to resolve the problems that prompted you to leave in the first place. If you are unable to deal with family or personal problems effectively, seek the assistance of a trained counselor or professional.
 

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