Useful links for young people
If you're having problems, don't suffer in silence. If you don't want to talk to a family member, a friend or a teacher, there are lots of organisations you can talk to instead. You don't have to tell them who you are, and they won't pass on anything you tell them, unless you are in danger and need immediate help.
Help and advice if you need to leave home in a hurry
The following organisations offer free, confidential help to young people. This means that they won't pass on anything you tell them, unless you are in danger and need immediate help. They won't contact your parents or guardian if you don't want them to. Remember that not all these lines are free-phone, and if you are calling from a mobile phone, a lot of free-phone help line numbers may not be free to your particular mobile phone network.
ChildLine is a free, confidential helpline that offers practical advice and support. You can call . If you've run away, ChildLine advisers can arrange for you to stay in a safe house if you feel you are in danger at home, or they can arrange for you to meet up with your parents and sort out your problems. However, they won't contact your parents or guardian if you don't want them to.. If you've run away, ChildLine advisers can arrange for you to stay in a safe house if you feel you are in danger at home, or they can arrange for you to meet up with your parents and sort out your problems. However, they won't contact your parents or guardian if you don't want them to.
Get Connected is a free helpline and email service for young people. Whatever your problem, whether it's to do with your family, your health, school, housing or anything else, the counsellors can put you in touch with an agency who can help you. You can call 0808 808 4994 (lines are open 1-11pm every day) or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can call or text Missing People on 116 000. The advisers can pass on a message to your parents or carers without telling them where you are, talk through your options and help you decide what to do next and put you in touch with local advice agencies who can help you.
Shelter's free housing advice helpline
Advisers at Shelter's free housing advice helpline may be able to help you sort out somewhere to stay in the short term, for example in a hostel, a night shelter or a refuge, and can offer you advice on finding somewhere more permanent. They can also put you in touch with other local agencies who can help you.
SupportLine is a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to children, young people and adults. 01708 765200.
Help and advice with problems
There are lots of reasons why you may feel unhappy at home. Maybe you are being bullied, or have got involved with alcohol or drugs. Perhaps you're pregnant and don't want your family to find out. But running away isn't the only solution to your problems. Before you pack your bags, try getting in touch with the agencies below for free, confidential help.
You may feel like running away because you are being bullied in or out of school. The Bullying UK website has practical advice about what to do if you're being bullied and links to organisations who can help you. You can also call their helpline on 0808 800 2222.
Caledonia Youth offers advice, information and support to young people on any aspect of sex, contraception and relationships. Services include open access sexual health clinics, counselling services and education and training. The website provides contact details for the clinics.
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse Bereavement Care offers help and support to people who have been affected by death. If someone in your life has died and you need someone to talk to about it, Cruse can help.
LGBT Youth Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland provides a range of services for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Talk to Frank
If you or your family are involved with drugs, you can always Talk to Frank for confidential help and advice. The Talk to Frank website offers straightforward information on the effects and risks of drug taking, including a comprehensive A-Z of drugs and a searchable database of services that can help you. You can also email Frank through the site to ask for help and advice.0800 77 66 00 for confidential help and advice. The Talk to Frank website offers straightforward information on the effects and risks of drug taking, including a comprehensive A-Z of drugs and a searchable database of services that can help you. You can also email Frank through the site to ask for help and advice.
If you're going through a hard time or feel depressed, desperate or suicidal and need someone to talk to anonymously, you can call the Samaritans free and in confidence on 116 123 or email email@example.com.
If you are worried about depression or any other mental health issue, you can call Saneline on 0300 304 7000 for practical information and support, or contact them using their email advice service. Lines are open 6-11pm.
Scottish Drug Services
The online directory at the Scottish Drug Services website can help you find information on all drug treatment and rehabilitation and care services in Scotland.
The Survivor Scotland website contains links to help and advice for people who are experiencing or have experienced sexual abuse in their childhood. The site links to agencies offering support, counselling and other forms of help.
More information about leaving home
The Leaving Home website from Homeless Action Scotland has lots of practical advice and information on how to prepare to leave home.
Last updated: 6 January 2020
Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.