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2020 Ambiguous Loss: The Impact of Missing Persons on Families & Response Personnel

 When a family discovers that one of its members has gone missing, it sets into motion a process of physical, emotional and mental activity that is incomparable to any other situation. This impact is then expanded to include law enforcement members involved in the search to locate the missing person. This impact is unique in response to the individual never being found, or being found deceased. This course will explore this impact and ways to support those who are affected. It will begin by defining ambiguous loss. Next, the course will present a basic overview of grieving a ‘normal’ loss to provide a context, and then contrast ambiguous loss to the normal. Intervention guidelines are provided as well as attention given to the feelings/behaviors most exhibited by one who is experiencing ambiguous loss.