Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed modular approach to help people in the immediate aftermath of a major incident.
It is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping.
Find out more about PFA below.
PFA is not ‘counselling’, asking the person to ‘analyse’ their situation or pressuring them to talk. Instead, PFA is based on a set of principles that we know help people to cope with and recover from an event or ongoing situations.
PFA offers a flexible, practical framework for supporting our colleagues and fellow citizens. Social support is central to recovery in the aftermath of trauma exposure.
We should also remember the key principles for trauma-informed care which aim to redress the harm trauma causes. Whether an event(s) is traumatic depends not only on our individual experience of the event, but also on the effect it has on us - how it impacts on our emotional, social, spiritual and physical wellbeing. You can have a look at Understanding my response to trauma and stress where we explain what happens to us when we are exposed to potentially traumatic events.
We are all affected by traumatic events in different ways. Providing Psychological First Aid (PFA) means applying a set of principles that involve humane, supportive and practical support to those suffering serious crisis events. We have summarised some key points below.