ACT Policing is supporting National Missing Persons Week (28 July – 3 August), which will focus on people living with mental illness as a key group at greater risk of going missing.
Deputy Chief Police Officer of Response Charmaine Quade said it was estimated that a person goes missing every 15 minutes in Australia with mental health reasons accounting for an increasing number of that figure.
“Since the beginning of the year, 119 people were reported missing in the Territory with more than 20 per cent of those having a mental health element as an underlying factor,” Commander Quade said.
“ACT Policing continues to enhance the care and treatment of individuals experiencing mental illness throughout our operations.
“Earlier this year, ACT Policing expanded the hours of mental health clinicians embedded within ACT Policing Operations to seven-days-a-week to assist police in responding to mental health incidents.”
Commander Quade urged Canberrans to look out for the signs that may indicate someone suffering from a mental health issue could be at risk of going missing.
“Look out for signs a person could be feeling down, they’ve been tearful or overly sensitive, they may have lost interest in day-to-day activities or have isolated themselves.
“The community is urged to contact police as soon as family or a loved one is missing. You do not have to wait 24 hours before reporting someone missing.”
[Courtesy of ACT Policing]