Psychological First Aid in emergency

Each of us in life can meet a person who experiences stress and needs emotional support. Unfortunately, crisis events happen all the time, especially the issue has become relevant in recent years. Crisis events include natural disasters, emergencies, accidents, catastrophes, armed conflicts, and pandemics. They lead to social and psychological consequences that disrupt the normal course of our lives and increase the level of everyday stress. Sometimes they are personal inherently and affect only one person, and in other cases they are massive and have a negative impact on the whole society. Regardless of the scale of the crisis events, people who got into them may need to receive psychological first aid.

Psychological first aid (PFA) is a set of skills and knowledge that can be used to help people under stress due to the impact of crisis events. It is also a way to help people feel calm, providing them with emotional support.

Everyone can learn to provide PFA, both as a volunteer or staff of the URCS, and an ordinary person. To master the skills of providing PFA, no specialized psychological education is required. And, most importantly, such skills make it possible to take care of your emotional state or people nearby who are in crisis events.

Teaching the skills of the Psychological First Aid

Training in psychological first aid at the Ukrainian Red Cross Society began in 2019. For 3 years of activity of the direction, more than 50 qualified instructors and trainers in PFA were trained, who pass their knowledge all over the country. Until 2020, only volunteers and staff of the URCS were able to undergo the training. But due to the quiet big training demand among the population (most of all among the residents of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, who lived at the demarcation line at that time), trainings start to be held for different categories of the population. In particular, for staff of the National Police of Ukraine, SESU, local authorities. The request for PFA trainings has significantly increased since the beginning of the escalation 2022.