PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID
Lecture of: Thelma Singson - Barrera
What is Psychological First Aid?
 Psychological First Aid is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events, and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping. • Psychological First Aid – is simply a “first-aid” response aimed to *stabilize, *reduce symptoms and *return the survivor to functional capacity in the aftermath of a critical incident. Psychological first aid (PFA) is an evidence informed approach to assisting individuals and families in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. It is based on five principles to guide post-disaster interventions: 1. Promoting a sense of safety;
2. Promoting calming;
3. Promoting a sense of self- and community-efficacy;
4. Promoting connectedness; and
5. Instilling hope.
Given that most people will regain a sense of wellbeing on their own, PFA focuses on enhancing resilience and naturally occurring resources rather than assuming that all survivors will develop mental health problems or long-term difficulties. PFA is appropriate for use with disaster survivors of all ages, and is designed to reduce initial distress and foster short and long-term adaptive functioning. It is typically delivered by generalist health and disaster response workers, with back up and supervision from mental health professionals.
Psychological First Aid does not presume all survivors will develop severe psychopathology, but instead fosters an understanding that disaster survivors, and others impacted by such events, will experience a broad range of reactions (e.g. physical, psychological, cognitive, spiritual). Some of these reactions will cause sufficient distress for the individual and may be alleviated by support from compassionate and caring disaster responder
Who is Psychological First Aid For?
Psychological First Aid intervention strategies are intended for use with children, adolescents, parents/caretakers, families, and adults. Other populations include healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals, and other first responders and disaster relief workers.
Who Delivers Psychological First Aid?
Psychological First Aid is designed for delivery by a variety of response units.
When Should Psychological First Aid Be Used?
PFA is a supportive behavioral intervention for use in the immediate aftermath of disasters and other traumatic events.
Where Should Psychological First Aid Be Used?
Psychological First Aid is designed for delivery in diverse settings.
Basic Objectives of Psychological First Aid
• Establish a human connection in a non-intrusive, compassionate manner. • Enhance immediate and ongoing safety, and provide physical and emotional comfort. • Calm and orient emotionally-overwhelmed or distraught survivors. • Help survivors to articulate immediate needs and concerns, and gather additional information as appropriate. • Offer practical assistance and information to help survivors address their immediate needs and concerns. • Connect survivors as soon as possible to social support networks, including family members, friends, neighbors, and community helping resources. • Support positive coping, acknowledge coping efforts and strengths, and empower survivors; encourage adults, children, and families to take an active role in their recovery. • Provide information that may help survivors to cope effectively with the psychological impact of disasters. • Facilitate continuity in disaster response efforts by clarifying how long the Psychological First Aid provider will be available, and (when appropriate) linking the survivor to another member of a disaster response team or to indigenous recovery systems, mental health services, public-sector services, and organizations.
Delivering Psychological First Aid
• Operate only within the framework of an...
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