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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.

Goals and Objectives: 

  1.   Participant will be able to define ambiguous loss and how it relates to the First Responder career;
    2. Participant will be able to compare the "normal" grief process to the ambiguous loss grief process;
    3. Participant will be able to identify behaviors and emotional responses that may be an outcome of experiencing ambiguous loss;
    4. Participant will be able to identify intervention and support guidelines for someone experiencing ambiguous loss

This enrollment provides access to the class for thirty days.