OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) Have you ever wondered about those yellow and black signs that say Safe Place? 

That means that’s a place that’s able to help a young person in need.

This is National Safe Place Awareness Week. And this national initiative wants everyone ages 12 to 18 to know what it’s about. 

Teens deal with a lot of issues. They may be abused, neglected or perhaps there’s a crisis in their family. When they feel there’s nowhere to turn, they can walk into any building with the yellow Safe Place sign.

How does Safe Place work?

  • A young person enters a Safe Place location and asks for help.
  • The site employee finds a comfortable place for the youth to wait while they call the local Safe
  • Place licensed agency.
  • Within 30 minutes or less, a Safe Place representative will arrive to talk with the youth and, if
  • necessary, provide transportation to the shelter for counseling, support, a place to stay and/or other resources
  • Once at the Safe Place agency, counselors meet with the youth and provide support. Agency staff make sure the youth and their families receive the help and professional services they need.

Are you between the ages of 12-18? Did you know you can access help 24 hours day via text messaging? That’s right! TXT 4 HELP is a 27/7 text-for-support service for teens in crisis.

Here’s how it works – text the word SAFE to 44-357 to receive information about your closest Safe Place location.

You will also be able to text live with a counselor for more help. It’s quick, easy, safe and confidential.

Don’t be afraid to help yourself or a friend. For more information, get in touch with Youth Services System on Facebook or Instagram.

Safe Spaces locally include the Ohio County Public Library, any Wheeling fire station, and OVRTA buses.

Licensed Safe Place agencies serve youth aged 12 to 17 years old, and some agencies serve younger and older youth. To learn more, visit www.nationalsafeplace.org.