Our winter campaign and mental health guides

We are excited to launch our new winter campaign focused on mental health and the impact of the pandemic. As part of the campaign, our services team have created two guides with their best tips for taking care of your mental wellbeing this winter which you can download here

Mental health and missing

In the UK 100,000 adults go missing every year with up to 80% having mental health problems. They are at high risk of homelessness and harm even while away for a short period. Mental health problems worsen the longer someone is missing and many people find it difficult to adjust back after returning. Up to a third will go missing again.

During lockdown, police saw an overall reduction in the number of missing incidents. However, we saw an increase in people, most notably by young people, thinking about going missing. This included a 54% jump in young people using Live Chat, with a third discussing mental health problems.

Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People says:

“As mental health and money problems are a key driver for people to go missing, looking ahead, the financial and societal impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are likely to lead to a significant increase in the numbers of people going missing, and suicide, perhaps at a scale not seen before. This is likely to be most acutely felt in disadvantaged communities and those who are already socially excluded.

The group of adults most likely to go missing are men aged 22-39. Black and minority ethnic groups – especially black men – represent a disproportionately large percentage of people reported missing. We know these groups have been adversely impacted by Covid-19.”

Missing People believes that a combination of drivers hidden during lockdowns – including exploitation, unsafe situations and anxiety – alongside new economic impacts people are facing, is now resulting in the surge in high-risk disappearances.

Our valued partners People’s Postcode Lottery and Royal Mail Group have supported our message and call for greater access to support and understanding for missing people facing a mental health crisis.

Winter mental health guides

We have created two guides to help you take care of your mental wellbeing and your loved ones this winter.

Download now




Sign up to be a Digital Search Hero

We have launched a regular email so that you can be aware of new missing person appeals and share them far and wide! We are also calling on all Heroes to be the eyes and ears for Missing People on the ground. Your sighting of a missing person could make a difference in a crucial time.