Missing Persons Advocacy Network launches podcast series

3 August 2020

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MPAN has teamed up with global podcast sensation Casefile True Crime.

Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN), in partnership with global podcast sensation Casefile True Crime, has launched a "first-of-its-kind" podcast exploring the wide-reaching and devastating impacts of ambiguous loss on families of long-term missing people.

The first of ten episodes in the series, What’s Missing, launched on Friday July 31 in recognition of National Missing Persons Week (NMPW), which runs from Sunday August 2 to Saturday August 8, 2020.

Unlike other open-case podcasts, What’s Missing will provide a voice for family and friends of missing loved ones, broadening the narrative beyond the factual details of the disappearance and search.

MPAN founder and CEO Loren O’Keeffe conducts intimate and candid interviews with the family members of eight high profile missing loved ones to explore the harrowing experiences of those left behind.

“Cases of missing persons usually focus on the vital stats – height, DOB, and date last seen – which can dehumanise them, causing distress for their families," O'Keeffe says.

“This will be the first podcast that really humanises long term missing Australians, while discussing what it’s actually like for families that are left to manage the endless practical obstacles and psychological torment."

The first and second episode will be available on Friday July 31 and on Tuesday August 4 respectively and will feature the stories of two missing Australians: Nicola Sallese and Warren Meyer, with Paul Wright’s story released on Tuesday August 11.

“Casefile Presents wanted to create a show that focused exclusively on missing persons,” says the anonymous host of the hit true crime podcast.

“We are proud to support this cause and raise awareness of the impact of ambiguous loss so MPAN can continue supporting these families.”

Having lived experience following the disappearance of her brother in 2011, O'Keeffe brings a personal understanding to help tell the stories of missing persons and the unique challenges faced by their loved ones.

“This type of loss lacks closure for families, and – for that reason – it is rarely openly acknowledged or understood by the wider community," she says.

According to MPAN, awareness of ambiguous loss in Australia is low, as is the need for increased specialised counselling to treat those who have been affected.

“There are thousands of Australians whose grief hasn’t been properly recognised or adequately supported,” O'Keeffe says.

“Unlike traditional bereavement, where the loss is clear, it doesn’t get easier over time. It gets harder. It’s a continual loss that requires ongoing support.”

MPAN is the only charity of its kind in Australia advocating for those still missing, who do not have a voice, and the family and friends who struggle with the unending not-knowing.

The first episode of What’s Missing was released to coincide with Australia’s NMPW 2020 which runs from Sunday August 2 to Saturday August 8, with episodes released on Friday July 31, Tuesday August 4 and then every Tuesday thereafter.

What’s Missing will be available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

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