Men are disproportionately likely to take their own lives and often won’t feel able to seek support when they are experiencing mental health issues.
In November 2018, The Women and Equalities Committee launched a new inquiry into the mental health of men and boys with the key question: What are the most pressing issues that affect men and boys’ mental health, and how are these different to the wider population?
We know that missing and mental health are closely linked so we have submitted a response to this vital consultation.
Mental health issues are one of the most common reasons for the 125,000 incidents of adults going missing each year. They can be both a cause and a consequence of a person going missing. Adult men are more likely to go missing than adult women and mental health issues and mental distress are common: research shows that missing incidents ending in suicide are most common among men (up to 77% of all missing incidents which end in suicide are men.)
Police record mental health issues as a reason that children and young people go missing in around one in ten of the 210,000 incidents each year. Information from Missing People’s return home interview service identified around 23% of children and young people who had run away as having mental health issues.
Although relatively little is known about the links between missing, mental health and gender – it is vital that any consideration of mental health includes an understanding of the links with missing to ensure that people receive the support they deserve upon return.