In February 2014, right in the middle of his final exams, Satvik Sethi was searching for art and quotes on Instagram, but instead stumbled across a few images of teenagers self harming, with captions such as “I cannot live anymore,” “After 40 days of being clean, I used the blade again today”, “My family hates me”, among other devastating words. What he noticed with each of these images was the use of hashtags such as ‘anorexia’, ‘bulimia’, ‘scars’, ‘hurting’, ‘pain’, ‘self harm’; it was as if these people really wanted to be noticed, to be heard, they had no names on the account, on the internet you could be anybody and that’s exactly what they were doing; accounts made to vent their emotions and problems, the things they were too afraid to say out loud. And on these images, people tried helping, and eager to help Satvik too began. He spent the next 4 hours downloading various messengers, commenting on multiple images and reaching out to anyone who could use a friend. In that one night itself, Satvik stopped 6 people from hurting themselves and even made some of them laugh, as they spoke about their lives, hobbies, passions and problems.
“I started spending more and more time on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook looking for people who were emotionally devoid. In a span of eight weeks, I came across over 50 people from countries like India, Sweden, United States, Russia, Australia, Belgium, etc., all suffering from multitude mental and physical disorders. They were jostling with issues like bulimia, anorexia, broken families, social exclusion, self -harming and their suicidal thoughts. As a 16 year old, it was frightening to see so much pain but I knew I was onto something,” says Satvik Sethi, as he explains the concept of ‘Runaway’. Over a period of time, he befriended them, became a good listener and helped reinstate their faith in life. By 2017, he had successfully dealt with over 150 cases and is still in touch with some of the friends he made through the project. “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 a 100% success rate, and amazing support and motivation from his family and some of his closest friends, Satvik is humbled by his experiences and aims to reach and help as many people as possible. To facilitate this, he has been working tirelessly to establish ‘Runaway’ and he hopes that through this project, he can make the world happier.
BACKGROUND & PAST CASES
Learn more about our inception and the story that inspired Runaway.
Download our presentation containing screenshots of real cases encountered by Satvik Sethi to learn how we've helped people in dealing with their mental health problems through effective communication.