Conversations and connections: support group meetings for the families of missing people

New South Wales Department of Justice
Publication Year
Asia and the Pacific
Thematic Area
Law & Policies / Forensics / Families
Religious Aspects / Psychosocial Support / Mental Health / Family Needs / Advocacy
Open access

When family members and friends come together in support group meetings and share their experiences of living with the loss of a missing loved one, they discover commonalities and differences. They learn they are not alone, and that there are others who actually ‘get it’. Their experience of living and struggling with ‘not knowing’ is affirmed, validated and normalised. They learn that there are similar and different ways of living with ambiguous loss. There can be compassion, understanding and respect for others who may live differently or similarly with ‘not knowing’. There is no ‘one way’ or ‘right way’ of moving forward. Conversations and Connections: Support group meetings for the families of missing people incorporates the valuable knowledge gained from family members and friends who have contact with FFMPU. Families access information and support from FFMPU through counselling, accessing social media and publications, and participating in support group meetings and other missing persons’ events. The support group meetings continue to be informed and influenced by the conversations and connections that are made through their trust and ongoing feedback.