Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed approach to help people in the immediate aftermath of a major incident. It is designed to foster adaptive functioning and coping and is based on a set of principles that we know help people to cope with and recover following emergencies. These principles are:
Psychological First Aid infographic
Examples of PFA during COVID-19 would be:
Making sure basic needs are met whilst on shift (e.g. break times or access to PPE)
Holding in mind staff who may be more vulnerable to distress due to pre-existing difficulties with their own mental health or mounting pressures of home and work life.
Encouraging staff to use social support systems at work . Having a sense of common purpose and camaraderie at work has been shown to reduce long term impacts of responding to major incidents, including previous pandemics. (See more on our research page.)
You can read more about the principles and practice of Psychological First Aid here.
Please click this link to access an e-module on PFA .
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