National Missing Persons Week 28 July - 3 August 2013
In Australia, an estimated 35,000 people are reported missing each year. Although the majority of these people are located within a short period of time, the impact on those who are left behind, and the vulnerabilities experienced by those whilst they are away from their support networks, are both traumatic and challenging.
A missing person is defined as someone whose whereabouts are unknown and where there are serious concerns for their wellbeing. Having a relative or friend go missing can affect every Australian regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic group. In 2013, the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre is working in partnership with a number of mental health organisations to inform the Australian community of the link between mental health and missing persons with a view to alleviating the trauma experienced by those people living with a mental illness, their families and friends and to reduce the incidence of people going missing due to mental health issues.
In 2013, the campaign takes a preventative approach with the theme of
'See the signs before they disappear' (PDF, 1.5MB)
These signs may indicate someone you know is suffering from a mental health issue and may be at risk of going missing. Has the person you know:
- been talking about feeling very down and nothing can help?
- often been tearful or overly sensitive?
- lost interest in day-to-day activities?
- stopped reaching out to family and friends and isolated themselves?
A 30 second community service announcement has been developed in support of this campaign and can be viewed below. If you know someone who is exhibiting these signs, there is help available. If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call Lifeline (24 hours): 13 11 14.