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The Missing Persons Advocacy Network engaged Today to create a digital guide that would provide advice, offer practical tools and connect those searching for a missing person.

One Australian goes missing every 15 minutes and more than 35,000 are reported missing each year.

Until now, there hasn’t been a central place that families of missing persons could go to for help and advice. When someone goes missing, it’s not a police matter, since there may not have been a crime committed. Families, understandably don’t know what they should be doing.

Gaining insight from families

We began by enlisting the help of five families of missing persons in order to understand their experiences of having someone go missing and what typically follows.

During these intimate, reflective sessions, we generated a comprehensive journey map to characterise experiences and challenges people endure in the first few crucial hours, days and weeks after someone goes missing.

Image of new MPAN website on laptop and smartphone.

The team extracted a valuable range of insights, including key areas of confusion and frustration, structural challenges, and opportunities where MPAN could make a significant difference.

Having a family member go missing was, for many, the most traumatic and emotional event of their lives. From the very beginning, we wanted to design something that would be genuinely empathetic to this emotional state.

Working with Today on this project was an absolute dream. I’ve never known a group more sincere in their passion to help make the world a better place.

Loren O’Keeffe Founder and CEO, Missing

A user-friendly toolbox

The final product, The Missing Persons Guide, is a digital resource offering practical guidance from the moment someone is reported missing, right through to supporting families in the longer term.

The guide provides advice on how to raise and sustain awareness through the media and supplies details of support networks.

Family members or friends can easily use the toolbox to create a printable missing person poster by uploading their loved one’s details and images.

It aims to assist users in taking immediate action, what to do after one week, one month or in the longer term after someone’s disappearance.

Reflection

The Missing Persons Guide is the world’s first step-by-step guide to help find missing persons.

Initially created by Loren O’Keeffe from her personal experience with a loved one’s disappearance, the guide has now expanded to become a global go-to resource for others in similar unfortunate situations.