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Recognise your existing strengths and skills. Write down the things that you know to be helpful during times of stress and make these part of your daily schedule.
Return to a day-to-day schedule and set small, achievable goals to help restore a sense of predictability and control when everything seems so uncertain.
Do this at a gentle pace and recognise each achievement.
Reach out and welcome support from friends, family, community groups, and support agencies. Don’t be afraid to let others know what you need.
They might be able to help with child-minding, meals, searching, or responding to calls when you need rest.
People have different reactions and beliefs, including within families. This is normal when someone is missing. It can help to talk about these different responses and coping styles.
Some people are open and expressive with their feelings and will want to talk, while others may be more private, and prefer to keep busy. We can respect each other’s reactions even if we don’t always understand them.
Remember that rest is crucial. It’s okay to take a break from searching. Try to make time for things you enjoy, like listening to music, seeing friends, reading a book, getting a massage, sitting down with a cup of tea, or getting some sunlight.
Recognise that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Emotions can change rapidly.
It might help to:
A missing loved one can lead to financial stress. Consider speaking to a financial counsellor. You can find a financial counsellor through the Financial Counsellors Association of NSW – fcan.com.au
The National Debt Hotline (1800 007 007) also provides free help managing money and debt and information about emergency relief organisations.
Let your GP and employer know what is happening and if you need leave from work, or adjustments such as reduced hours, more appropriate tasks or breaks. Your workplace may have an Employee Assistance Program.
Families and Friends of Missing Persons Service provides free counselling, information and referrals to people in NSW. You can also get in touch with us for further information or guidance on self-care.
29 Nov 2023
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.