National Missing Persons Week to focus on the mentally ill

PEOPLE suffering from mental illness will be the focus of National Missing Persons Week, starting today.

The week aims to bring attention to the 35,000 people who go missing in Australia every year, and help prevent more Australians disappearing.

Australian Federal Police deputy commissioner Andrew Colvin said 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the annual week.

He said one of the factors which may contribute to someone going missing was "poor mental health" and its impact on the ability to "cope with life's challenges".

"The 2013 campaign theme, 'See the signs before they disappear', aims to encourage people to look out for signs that someone they know may not be coping, and to seek help before they disappear," he said.

Deputy Commissioner Colvin said this year new advertisements would screen on YouTube, bringing "the milk carton concept into the digital age" and profiling missing people.

"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 predominately from their area," he said.

At least one million Australians will be exposed to this campaign via YouTube throughout the week.

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Topics:  australian federal police missing person national missing persons week

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