Psychological First Aid
When terrible things happen in our communities, countries and the world, we want to reach out a helping hand to those who are affected. Psychological First Aid involves humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings suffering serious crisis events.
This is a Psychological First Aid guide written for people in a position to help others who have experienced an extremely distressing event. It gives a framework for supporting people in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities. Despite its name, psychological first aid covers both social and psychological support.
Perhaps you are called upon as a staff member or volunteer to help in a major disaster, or you find yourself at the scene of an accident where people are hurt. Perhaps you are a teacher or health worker talking with someone from your community who has just witnessed the violent death of a loved one. This guide will help you to know the most supportive things to say and do for people who are very distressed. It will also give you information on how to approach a new situation safely for yourself and others, and not to cause harm by your actions.
This guide – endorsed by many international agencies including World Health Organization (WHO) – reflects the emerging international consensus on how to support people in the immediate aftermath of extremely stressful events.
You can access the original guide in English here.