Updated 18 May.
In the last month 54% more children and young people are reaching out to us for support via our online LiveChat service that the monthly average.
Children like Susan*, aged 14.
Susan was thinking of running away from home. She had a volatile relationship with her mother, was being abused, and was finding it very difficult to cope with the lockdown. Attending school was a coping mechanism Susan normally used in these circumstances but her school was closed because of Covid-19. Susan was self-harming. She contacted Missing People to talk through her options. By the end of the call the girl was empowered to seek specialist help to prevent her situation from getting worse.
Ahead of International Missing Children’s Day (25th May), Missing People now has greater evidence of the effects of the pandemic on vulnerable children.
Chief Executive of Missing People, Jo Youle says: “Children and young people are telling us that the impact of the pandemic and lockdown is having a detrimental impact on their mental health and making them think about going missing.
“The charity is proud that through great adversity our essential 24/7 support remains open for these young people. However, without urgent support that long-term support is in doubt. We have had to reduce our income predictions by £500k – and for a smaller national charity that means many children may not get support they so desperately need.”
In the weeks and months ahead the charity expects the issues around covid-19 to continue to result in young people thinking about leaving or going missing, and to exacerbate existing worries and problems they may have. They will continue to need our support, and we need to be there for them.
By supporting our Urgent Appeal, you are ensuring that we can continue to help vulnerable people like Susan. Your donation will allow us to be a lifeline for the estimated one million people affected by a disappearance and to offer support, during a crisis and beyond. Please donate to our urgent appeal today.
Your support could change someone’s life. We need you more than ever.
£15 could help us pick up the phone to a vulnerable person affected by missing during the crisis, who has nowhere else to turn.
£50 could help us provide specialist counselling to a child struggling to cope with not knowing why their mum isn’t at home anymore.
£100 could launch a nationwide publicity campaign for a high-risk missing person; for example, an elderly person living with dementia.
£1,000 could keep our Helpline open for a day, offering a lifeline to anyone who needs us.
£25,000 could fund our 121-chat service for three months, offering a bespoke way for younger people to chat to us in a way they trust and helping them explore their options to keep safe in this crisis.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality.