Every day, we hear first-hand that financial issues like the inability to pay bills, unpaid debt, and food insecurity are driving people to think about going missing. In response, we are launching a new prevention campaign to reach more people challenged by the cost of living crisis.
Around 100,000 adults are reported missing each year in the UK. The most common reasons for going missing are mental health and financial problems. They are at high risk of homelessness and coming to harm. Missing People’s recent research showed that 4 in 10 missing adults tried to take their own life while missing. National Crime Agency figures show that the number of people dying while missing has increased year on year for the past three years, with suicide the most common cause.
“During that moment of lostness, when I was stood on the station platform becoming detached from myself I was not yet ‘missing’ to others. I believe that there was a window of opportunity there. Had I been able to see these images they may well have been able to cut through that growing hopelessness, preventing the situation from escalating into the trauma of becoming completely overwhelmed. It has been a privilege to consult collectively with Missing People on this prevention project and to find ways of using my own experiences of grief and loss to support those who are in crisis now.” – Ju Blencowe
Missing People’s new campaign aims to reach people who may be thinking of going missing. The campaign was created with creative agency, The Raised Eyebrow Society, and in partnership with advertiser JCDecaux UK. People with lived experience of being missing worked on the messaging to make sure it will be as effective as possible in reaching out to others affected. Our campaign will occupy iconic media space that could include The M4 Torch, The Shoreditch Showcase, The Marylebone Tower, and The Edinburgh Arch. We aim for the campaign to also be shared across other platforms and through other partnerships going forward.
“The surge in the cost of living will have a significant financial impact on people across the UK, especially in disadvantaged communities. The charity is deeply concerned about reports that desperate children trying to make money for their families are being coerced by gangs to sell drugs.” – Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People
The campaign will run across JCDecaux Community Channel digital billboards UK-wide. Launched in February 2022, The Community Channel enables not-for-profit community and charitable projects to access digital Out-of-Home locations. The Community Channel creates real value through the power of the public screen. It aims to amplify Out-of-Home’s role as a force for good in communities.
“JCDecaux UK has worked with Missing People for many years, using the power of the public screen of Out-of-Home to bring their important message to people in communities across the UK.” – Chris Dooley, Head of Social Impact at JCDecaux UK
If you or someone you know is affected by missing we suggest reading our guide on legal and financial advice. We created a guide for family and friends to follow below. Our guide includes advice on debt, homelessness and available resources for those affected by the cost of living crisis.Find out more