How To Help In A Crisis: A Brief Guide to Psychological First Aid - Deepstash
How To Help In A Crisis: A Brief Guide to Psychological First Aid

How To Help In A Crisis: A Brief Guide to Psychological First Aid

If the Pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that disaster can and will strike at any time. But what do you do when you are the one who has to respond to a crisis?

Psychological First Aid has its merits when it comes to helping our friends and loved ones through the more mundane and routine crises that define us all. It is easy to use, the training is free and readily available, and the practical applications are legion.

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What Psychological First Aid Is Not

Let’s discuss what PFA it isn’t.

  • It isn’t counseling. It isn’t a self-assessment
  • It doesn’t require you to obtain details of the traumatic event, nor does it involve diagnosis or labels or complex interventions.
  • It’s not something only professionals can use. And it doesn’t require extensive training, special skills, or advanced degrees.  

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Who Can Psychological First Aid Be Used On?

Psychological First Aid is designed to help anyone — kids, adults, parents, senior citizens, even entire communities that have suffered a traumatic incident, as well as first responders and volunteers.

It is also, by extension, remarkably effective for friends and family members dealing with every-day crises.

The goal of Psychological First Aid is to tend to these emotional wounds by providing safety, comfort, understanding, and hope. 

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What Is Psychological First Aid?

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed approach built on the concept of human resilience. PFA aims to reduce stress symptoms and assist in a healthy recovery following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency, or even a personal crisis.

Police, firemen, paramedics, and other first responders are trained in it, and it was developed for non-mental health professionals to use, so there’s no reason the average person can’t use it, too. 

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RELATED IDEA

Positive Thinking
  • Recall positive life events.
  • Help others and remind yourself that you can impact the world and feel happier.
  • Practice mindfulness that makes you more present and increases happiness and resilience.
  • Express gratitude by telling people or writing about what you feel thankful for.
  • Identify and remind yourself of your strengths to feel capable and confident. Reflect on the qualities that helped you succeed in the past.
  • Practice forgiveness by letting go of past hurt and anger, but still protect yourself.
  • Find and keep deep real-world social connections to avoid the scientifically proven toll of loneliness and increase well-being.

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  • Psychologists, in general, provide assessment and therapy in a group format or individually. The purpose is to improve a persons' well-being.
  • Clinical psychologists typically focus on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness.
  • Clinical neuropsychologists asses and treat people with brain disorders that affect memory, learning, attention, reading or problem-solving.
  • Psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose and treat people with mental illness and prescribe medications where needed.

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Shape your perspective

Instead of focussing on the negatives in the situation, deliberately discover what is still going right. 

In choosing your perspective you are keeping the problem from consuming you.

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