by: Prof. Dr. Shishir Subba
What is Psychological First Aid?
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an approach to helping people affected by an emergency, disaster or traumatic event (APS, 2013). It describes a humane, supportive response to a fellow human being who is suffering and who may need support (Sphere, 2011; IASC, 2011). It is supported by disaster mental health expert immediately after of disaster. The intervention is designed to reduce initial distress caused by traumatic events by providing psychosocial care and support in which they focus on adjustment and coping. It helps to promote natural recovery among the survivors. This is done by helping people to feel safe, connect to the survivors with others (family members and close people), makes survivor calm and hopeful, links the survivor with social network, and helps in access to physical, emotional, and social support. One of the goals of PFA is to encourage and make the survivors feel able to help themselves. ‘Since 2002, psychological fist aid has been recommended as a key part of the provision of psychosocial support following disasters’ (APS, 2013).