Every 90 seconds somebody is reported missing in the UK. Now that the world is contending with the added strain of Covid-19, the situation has only gotten worse. The topic of mental health has been no stranger to us whilst we’ve been contending with the world as it currently stands. Social isolation, being furloughed or even working through the pandemic have been a source of stress for many and the impact of these factors on the UK’s mental health has been huge.
So, why do people go missing? There’s a sea of different causes that push people to leave their circumstances and become a missing person, many of which have been exacerbated by being stuck at home with fewer opportunities to escape. Conflict and abuse in the home is a common cause for people to go missing along with sexual exploitation, trafficking and mental health. It is not uncommon for those with conditions such as dementia to wander and become lost too. Often those who go missing are classed as ‘vulnerable’, in local cases it is not uncommon for the police to request the assistance of Lowland Rescue Teams to offer their support.
There are 36 Lowland Rescue teams in the UK, all of which assist the police with trained units that search in foot teams, kayak teams, boat teams, dog teams, swift water rescue teams, drone teams and much more. Whilst Lowland Rescue are praised highly for their success, they function on a voluntary basis, with their members balancing work and family as well as purchasing and maintaining their own equipment. Covid-19’s impact on the UK’s mental health has seen a sharp rise in cases for Lowland Rescue, with some teams such as Warwickshire Search and Rescue seeing their annual callouts rise by 108%.
How can you help?
Talk to the people around you.
Access channels for support. Missing Persons offers support for missing people, those who are considering leaving and their friends and family: https://www.missingpeople.org.uk/get-help
Support your local Lowland Rescue teams. Donations and corporate support are always welcomed. Lowland rescue is entirely funded by donations and receives no government support.