Partner organisations & professionals

Supporting missing people and those left behind

Missing People supports a number of organisations in the search for vulnerable people who have been reported missing.

If your job involves working with people who may go missing or who are missing, or the families they leave behind, you will find out more about our services that are available to you in this section, along with other relevant information.

Family Guidance

If you feel it’s appropriate, please direct families of missing people to our How We Can Help You page, where there is information about our support services and practical advice about what to do when a loved one goes missing.

Missing People is keen to engage counsellors and psychologists in providing families of missing people with the bespoke services they need.

Research demonstrates the emotional, social and practical impacts families can face when a loved one goes missing, as summarised in the below document, 'An Uncertain Hope'. We consistently work with these families to ensure that their support needs are being met, and our consultation work has suggested that for some years that there has been much support for tailored counselling services.

An Uncertain Hope

As a result of this, we have developed a telephone counselling service for families of missing people, and have sought to raise awareness of the need for more therapeutic professionals to concentrate on this area through our Missing Rights campaign. We have also explored therapeutic work taking place in Australia and elsewhere to help inform our own services. Details of these projects are below, along with contact details should you be interested in finding out more about our work and how you might be able to get involved.

Missing People's telephone counselling service

Missing People has developed a unique, bespoke telephone counselling service, to provide enhanced emotional support to people who are living with the experience of someone going missing.

We offer this service to individuals over 16 who have a family member or friend currently missing. In our experience, counselling may be more beneficial to people who have been experiencing living with someone missing for a while. This is something that we would be happy to discuss.

Individuals can refer themselves for counselling through a member of our Helpline team, who will help them to make a referral to the counsellors. A counsellor will make contact and work out with the person how counselling may help and why the person would like counselling. They may also advise that counselling may not be the right support at the time, and suggest alternatives.

The telephone counselling will be short term, typically over 7 sessions. Ongoing support will also be available 24-hours a day from the Helpline team.

Exploring therapeutic services in Australia

In 2011 Senior Services Manager, Helen Morell (now Alves) travelled to Australia on a Churchill Fellowship to explore the provision of emotional support to families of missing people. This report describes Helen's trip and the lessons she learned.

Lessons from Australia: Developing a new counselling service for families when someone is missing (2011)

Contact us

If you are a counsellor or other therapeutic professional and would like to find out more about our work, or how you might be able to get involved, please contact us.