A person over the age of 18 does have the right to privacy and confidentiality and can be voluntarily missing or 'lost by choice'. A family member may need to provide information that can be validated by law enforcement to suggest that the missing person is a danger to him or herself and/or others so that he or she can be properly reported as 'endangered missing'.
If an adult person is 'lost by choice', the police are not obligated to inform the family of the missing person's whereabouts. This is why it is critical to raise awareness about the need for the proper procedure as well as treatment options for people who are are lacking discernment about his or her own well being.
It is a mis-perception to consider that a person with untreated mental illness is 'lost by choice' - he or she would not be living on the streets and unable to make good decisions for his or her care. Many people who are lost and have an untreated mental illness simply do not have the proper discernment for his or her own safety. It is extremely frustrating for concerned family members who run into obstacles time and time again in obtaining the right care and support in getting their lost loved one to safety.
But often times, the 'obstacle' of the 'right to privacy' equates to nothing more than the 'right to be crazy' and on the streets. We hope you will join us in rallying behind the need for change and to support our work.