What is Psychological First Aid?
Psychological First Aid is a method of meeting the psychological needs of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary events. Like medical first aid, psychological first aid skills require training before they can be applied.
What are the key objectives of PFA?
- Reduce distress
- Lower arousal
- Make people feel safe and secure
- Assist with current needs
- Help individuals reconnect with themselves and their support network
- Help reduce risk factors of mental illness as a result of an event.
What are the common mistakes people make when providing psychological first aid without adequate training?
- Making assumptions about what the individual has been through or experienced
- Assuming that everyone exposed to the incident will be traumatised
- Pathologising – labelling reactions as symptoms or speaking in terms of diagnoses, conditions, disorders. Most acute reactions are understandable and expected.
Where can I learn more about PFA?
The Red Cross provides a useful online guide to PFA.
Caraniche runs PFA training for individuals, teams and organisations. Contact our Training Team for more details.
If you would like to address your own experience of an emergency or distressing event, our clinicians can help. Make a booking online or contact us.