Runaway is a 100% student owned and operated social venture that aims to promote mental health awareness and help those in need of emotional support. We've facilitated thousands of mental health conversations, and have worked with and been featured by organizations like UNICEF, World Health Organization, Mental Health America, Mashable, etc. for the impact we've had through our work and advocacy.
Our vision is to make the world happier.
When you’re young, you don’t really understand the impact of topics like mental health, it's only when you’re older that you can identify and fully comprehend the realities you faced. 6 years ago, our founder, Satvik Sethi found himself being bullied and socially excluded, he found himself dealing with complex emotions that were beyond his ability of comprehension, and he found his friends jostling back and forth with a myriad of mental health problems, anxiety, self-harming, body image issues, among several others.
In 9th grade he lost one of his closest friends to suicide, this was a time when people would make jokes about dying and never pay any heed to warning signs or indicators, and yet, this had just happened. Mental health problems at a young age can be devastating and this was his first exposure to the world of mental health problems and how horrifying an impact it can have on someone.
Over the past few years, Satvik has had several experiences dealing with mental health, be it his own or that of others. He spent countless hours finding people on Instagram who were emotionally devoid and reached out to them to offer help and active listening. In a span of eight weeks, he came across over 50 people from countries like India, Sweden, United States, Russia, Australia, Belgium, etc., all suffering from multitude mental and physical disorders. As a 16-year-old, it was frightening to see so much pain but he knew he was onto something. Today, he's spoken to over 350 people and is still in touch with some of the friends he made through the conversations. It’s great to see some of them become immensely successful at work - as writers, photographers, artists, and corporate executives among other great jobs. Some of them recently got into or graduated from prestigious colleges and it’s an amazing feeling to see them do well, and to know you were there for them when they were so close to giving up.
With all these experiences serving as a guide, Satvik decided to create Runaway. We’ve been fortunate to receive support from Universities, several Media companies, as well as student volunteers, but our biggest achievement thus far is how many lives we’ve been able to touch and how much positivity we’ve been able to spread. Satvik's hope is that that in the coming few years we reach exponentially more people and give them the happiness they deserve!
Runaway is a multi-faceted operation – we are constantly exploring and adding services, tools, resources, and educational outlets that provide people with access to mental health help, break down the stigma that surrounds the topic, and make people feel more comfortable in their everyday life.
Currently we are developing a mobile app that will allow users to come online and talk to our student volunteers 1-on-1 about their mental health problems to peers closest to their own age and experiences. We also host events on college campuses around the United States and will soon begin hosting events around the world. Apart from this we have conducted Mental Health research with Mental Health America, have worked on policy reforms and implementation with UNICEF and local governments, and recently discussed and shed light on adolescent mental health at the first ever Leading Minds conference hosted by UNICEF and WHO. Through our social media platforms, we provide our followers with daily positivity, motivation, and survival tips for their mental health. We are also adding partnerships to bring in more resources and content – this year we gave out 100 free 1 year subscriptions to our followers for a partner virtual therapy platform that allows you to book and talk with licensed therapists. Finally, Satvik constantly establishes Mental Health thought leadership by participating at events around the world as a speaker/panelist sharing his work and experiences, and will soon be launching a mental health podcast called ‘Happier World’ podcast that will bring renowned speakers and industry leaders to discuss the role that their work/industry (politics, media, sports, policy, academics, etc.) plays on mental health.
Definitely not everyone today can find and afford mental health care, but we believe that with more organizations like Runaway emerging every day that empower people to take care of their mental health, things are going to get better and mental health will get the importance it deserves. We will not stop till we make the world happier!