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Texas Youth and Parent Helpline

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Crisis Support
  • Homeless & Housing
  • LGBTQ+


290 and 183Austin, TX 78754 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

The Texas Youth Helpline provides free and confidential services to youth, their parents, and other family members of youth in crisis who need help finding a counselor, safe shelter, legal information, other local referral information, or just someone to talk to. We take phone calls, texts, and online chats 24/7, 365 days a year.


Originally named Operation Peace of Mind, the hotline was created in 1973 after police discovered the remains of 27 young men who had been brutally tortured, raped, and murdered in the Houston area. Since many of the victims were runaways, the Governor of Texas initiated a nationwide service that allowed runaways to leave messages for parents who feared their children were among the dead. Community volunteers operated the hotline out of two hotel rooms that were donated by Holiday Inns of America, Inc.

In August 1979, Operation Peace of Mind was renamed the Runaway Hotline, and in 1983, the hotline moved to Austin. Later, the Runaway Hotline was combined with a separate prevention hotline to become the Texas Youth and Runaway Hotline. The name was later shortened to the Texas Youth Hotline, and in 2014, we launched services via text and chat to reach young people and others who prefer to communicate and receive help digitally.

In 2019, we changed our name to the Texas Youth Helpline to reflect our growing emphasis on supporting families. Today, the helpline provides crisis intervention, advocacy, and information and referrals to youth and adults from across the state.

The helpline receives thousands of calls, texts, and chats each year, and the helpline's database includes approximately 2,000 listings of state and local resources. To date, staff and volunteers have answered more than 1 million calls.


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