Psychological First Aid (PFA)
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is a virtual 2-hour workshop that is internationally recognized method of support intended to help people immediately after a disaster or emergency such as COVID-19. This workshop trains community members, first responders, and professionals how to give practical support to those affected in a way that respects the person’s dignity, culture, and abilities.
We offer a generalized version as well as a youth and family version.
What is Psychological First Aid (PFA)?
PFA is a way of helping people immediately after a disaster or emergency. PFA providers give practical support in a way that respects the person's dignity, cultur, and abilities. PFA providers must take care of their own well-being first so they can be helpful to others.
- Offering practical care and support without forcing it on people.
- Helping people meet their basic needs (e.g. for food, water, information).
- Listening to people, but not pressuring them to talk.
- Comforting people and helping them feel calm.
- Connecting people to information, community services, and social supports.
- Protecting people from further immediate harm.
Who is PFA for?
You can offer PFA to children, adolescents, parents, families, and adults who have been through a disaster or emergency. Not everyone will want or need help after a disaster. You can also give PFA to first responders and other disaster relief workers.
Who can provide PFA?
Both professionals and community members can provide PFA. You may even need to help your friends, family, colleagues, or neighbours after a disaster or emergency. By learning PFA, you will build the skills you need to provide that support. You don't need to have formal healthcare or mental health training
What PFA isn't:
- It's not something that only professionals can do.
- It's not professional counselling or therapy.
- It's not asking someone to analyse what happened to them or discuss the event in detail.
- It's not pressuring anyone to talk to you.
- It's not something that everybody will need or want.
PFA is not intended for people in emotional crisis or may harm themself or others. Refer the individual with the police or emergency room in this situation.