Recognizing Red Flags

Signs that a Loved One May Be at Risk of Going Missing

When a loved one goes missing, it can be difficult to know what signs to look out for and how to prevent it from happening. In this page, we’ll provide an overview of the red flags that may indicate that a loved one is at risk of going missing.

Red Flags to Look Out For:

  • Sudden Changes in Behavior: If a loved one has suddenly started exhibiting unusual behavior, it may be a sign that something is wrong. This could include changes in sleeping patterns, eating habits, or social activities.
  • History of Mental Health Issues: Individuals with a history of mental health issues may be at a higher risk of going missing. If a loved one has a history of depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of relapse.
  • Strained Relationships: If a loved one is experiencing a strained relationship with a partner, family member, or friend, it may be a sign that they are at risk of going missing. Domestic violence and abusive relationships can put individuals at an increased risk.
  • Substance Abuse: Substance abuse can lead to risky behavior, which can increase the risk of going missing. If a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s important to seek help and support to prevent them from going missing.
  • Financial Issues: Financial stress and difficulties can put individuals at risk of going missing. If a loved one is experiencing financial problems, it’s important to provide support and resources to help them through this difficult time.

What to Do if You Notice Red Flags:

If you notice any of these red flags in a loved one, it’s important to take action to prevent them from going missing. Here are some steps you can take:

Talk to Them: Openly and non-judgmentally express your concerns with the loved one and offer support.

Seek Professional Help: Encourage the individual to seek professional help from a therapist or medical professional.

Create a Safety Plan: Work with the individual to create a safety plan in case they do go missing.

Contact Law Enforcement: If you believe the individual is at immediate risk of harm or is missing, contact law enforcement.


Recognizing red flags is an important step in preventing a loved one from going missing. Look out for sudden changes in behavior, history of mental health issues, strained relationships, substance abuse, and financial issues. If you notice any of these red flags, take action by talking to the individual, seeking professional help, creating a safety plan, and contacting law enforcement if necessary. By working together to prevent individuals from going missing, we can help keep our communities safe.