Psychological first aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed, low-level intervention developed to assist adults, adolescents, children, families,and communities during and in the aftermath of a crisis. During this training, we will explore how humans react to stress, the psychological impacts of disasters and the eight core actions in the PFA toolkit. The model of PFA presented in this training was developed by the National Center for PTSD and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and is the national model for U.S. response agencies, including the Medical Reserve Corps.
The primary goals of PFA are to help reduce the heightened physiological stress response associated with the stress response and also to foster short and long-term adaptive coping. Expert consensus holds that early interventions following potentially traumatic events should include promoting: 1) a sense of safety, 2) calming, 3) a sense of self and community efficacy, 4) connectedness, and 5) hope. While most people possess the inner tools necessary to recover from a crisis or disaster, PFA fosters connection, community and hopefully shortens the duration of acute stress. In this way, we see PFA as a tool to further the resilience of individuals and communities.
OEM offers a 6-8 hour virtual or in-person training session with a maximum of 30 participants. Contact us to find out when the next PFA training is scheduled or if you wish to schedule a training for your team.
Other resources to learn more about PFA:
- NCTSN Psychological First Aid Online
- NCTSN PFA Field Guide
- NCTSN Learning Center
- American Psychological Association PFA Resources
- When Disaster Strikes: Inside Disaster Psychology (George Everly, Johns Hopkins University)
- Coursera: Psychological First Aid (George Everly, Johns Hopkins University)