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Psychological first aid (PFA)

Learn how to use psychological first aid during crisis to understand and manage emotions.

Overview of PFA

In this introduction to PFA, you learn to understand that the emotions we feel during a crisis are normal.

You also learn how to help others by following these action principles:

  • Prepare
  • Look
  • Listen
  • Link

PFA at the workplace

You can use PFA at your workplace too.

Learn what you can do if you see your colleague:

  • Crying
  • Shouting or being violent

Avoid using phrases that people can misunderstand

These commonly used phrases may not help someone who is suffering:

  • Don’t cry
  • I understand
  • Cheer up
  • Think of the positive side
  • Calm down
  • It’s okay
  • It’s not that bad
  • You must get a hold of yourself

Common questions about PFA

What should I do if the person suffering does not have anybody to call or rejects external help?Show

You can try other support systems:

  • Within the organisation, it can be:
    • Speaking to someone from HR or with their boss
    • In-house counsellors or psychologists
  • Externally, it can be:
    • Family doctor
    • Neighbour
    • Social worker

When the person refuses any help, you can provide them with help hotlines so that they could call in their own time.

Can someone with mild mental problems like depression be trained as a PFA provider?Show

Yes, anyone can be trained in PFA.

You have to be capable of taking care of yourself before you can be deployed to help others.