Mental health in spotlight during National Missing Persons Week

Poster for this years missing persons week.

Poster for this years missing persons week.

PHILLIP HARSANT

This week is the 25th anniversary of National Missing Persons Week during which the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are focusing on awareness of mental health issues, a leading cause of people going missing.

Around 35,000 missing persons reports are filed with police every year in Australia, the equivalent of one missing person every 15 minutes.

The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘See the signs before they disappear’ and aims to educate the community on the issues and factors associated with missing persons, especially the role played by mental illness.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the federal police is committed to raising awareness of these issues.
“Research shows that one of the factors which may contribute to someone going missing is poor mental health and the impact that has on a person’s ability to cope with life’s challenges,” he said.
This year initiative sees the AFP using a YouTube advertising campaign which is expected to be seen by over a million Australians.Deputy Commissioner Colvin said featuring the profiles of missing persons would bring the ‘milk carton’ concept into the digital age.
“To further maximise the potential of these ads generating information about missing persons, they will also be geo-tagged so that viewers are shown missing persons profiles predominantly from their area,” he said.National Missing Persons Week runs from July 28 to August 3.

If you or someone you know needs immediate help call Lifeline (24 hours) on 13 11 14.

The promotional video can be viewed here.

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