How Missing People can help

A lifeline when someone disappears

If someone you know is missing, we're here for you, as long as it takes.

We know that it can be difficult for families with missing loved ones to find someone to talk to who understands their unique experience. Sometimes it can feel like other people seem to stop caring or don't know what to say. We will never stop caring.

Our caring and highly trained team can offer you and your family a range of free, confidential and non-judgemental support.


Call, text or email 116 000

Missing People's helpline is free, and availble 24/7. If a friend or relative has gone missing and you need support and advice call or text 116 000 or email

Confidentiality policy

Missing People is a confidential service and we cannot trace your calls. Please see our Confidentiality Policy.


We recognise that many people are affected when someone goes missing, and we support both the families and friends of missing people. Where the word ‘family’ is used on this website or at any time to describe the charity’s services, this also includes friends and loved ones.


Missing People has developed a unique, bespoke telephone counselling service, to provide personalised emotional support to people who are living with the experience of someone going missing, or have been missing themselves. This is a free and confidential service that offers individuals a safe place to talk about their needs and any of the ways the trauma of missing has impacted them. We are also able to offer video sessions via Skype for those that want to see and be seen by their counsellor.  

Who is the service for?

The Telephone/ Skype support is for you, if you are a young person (aged 11+) or an adult who is living with the ongoing uncertainty, or ambiguous loss of someone who you care about being missing in your life then we could help.

We also know that the story is not over when someone returns from being missing and so we can support with 1-2-1 counselling individuals with first-hand experience of being missing.

How does it work?

You or your child will have the opportunity to explore the sort of help needed, which of course will be unique to you or your child. Perhaps it may be to make changes to improve quality of life in some way; to manage a stressful situation differently or to cope in times of crisis or perhaps the issues are unclear at this stage.

You can refer yourself to our counselling service by talking to a member of the helpline team on 116 000, or by sending us an email enquiry, this will then start  the process of getting you set up with one of  our trained counsellors. All of our counsellors have experience and understanding of living with the ambiguous loss that is missing.

"They were very sympathetic and knew exactly why I needed to have the counselling."

Counselling can help with:

  • Coping with missing and ambiguous loss
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Improving relationships
  • Loss
  • Finding ways to talk to people in your life about your missing loved one
  • Coping with emotions
  • Stress
  • What it feels like to return
  • And so much more

What if I am unsure about counselling?

It is not uncommon to feel unsure and whether it is the right support for you. It can feel daunting talking to someone new about your missing experience, especially if you haven’t done it before. One of the things that we can offer to support you with this is to arrange for a member of the counselling team to give you a call at a time that is convenient. This will be a great opportunity for you to get answers to any questions you may have. They might advise that counselling isn't the right support at this time, and suggest alternatives.

“It was a process gently carried out with dignity and respect”

What is involved?

The next steps are easy

1.       We will take a referral from you either by phone or email

2.       Once we have read through the referral, if it’s appropriate we will arrange a time for an assessment.

3.       On the first occasion you or your child speak to a counsellor they will describe how the counselling sessions work, you’ll agree the time and day the sessions will take place.

An additional step for parents/ guardians of a young person wanting to receive counselling we are always able to offer conversations between them and the counsellor ahead of the sessions to ease everyone into the process. We have experience of this really helping everyone involved feel confident about the service.

How do I access counselling? 

You can refer yourself or your child to our counselling service by talking to a member of the helpline team on 116 000, who will put you in touch with our trained counsellors. All of our counsellors have experience and understanding of living with the ambiguous loss that is missing.

Our Counsellors

Our counsellors are fully qualified and accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and fully trained by Missing People. They are experienced in supporting children, young people, and adults in telephone/ Skype counselling specifically. The counsellors are also managed by our Clinical Lead Richard Curen and Family Support Manager Remi Arnold and all have professional clinical supervision.

Who should I contact?

You can contact us for more information by calling the helpline on 116 000, or by emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Alternatively you can contact our Family Support Team by calling 0208 392 4543, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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