Psychological first aid is a humane, simple, yet powerful way of helping someone in distress during and after a crisis like the COVID 19 pandemic. It involves paying attention to the person’s reactions, active listening and if relevant, practical assistance to help address immediate problems and basic needs.
Learning psychological first aid skills and understanding reactions to crises empowers helpers to help others and apply the same skills to their own lives. These resources are to support anyone who is working or volunteering with local statutory, community or voluntary communities at this time. They are aimed at individuals with varying levels of skill and experience. For those who have extensive experience of working with people in emotional distress some elements of the training will already be familiar.
This eLearning programme, which has kindly been shared by our colleagues in NHS Education for Scotland, and the interim guidelines specifically for Covid-19, which Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have kindly given us permission to use, will help individuals and teams to help people with whom they are in contact both during and after the COVID 19 pandemic by:
· Addressing basic needs and concerns and providing practical support
· Connecting them to information, services and social supports
· Offering comfort and helping them to feel calm
· Reducing distress and fostering adaptive coping
· Protecting them from further harm