Canadian Red Cross LogoPsychological first aid (PFA) describes a compassionate, understanding response to a fellow person’s suffering and who may need support. We all have strengths and abilities to help cope with life’s trials. However, some people are particularly vulnerable in a crisis situation and may need extra help. This includes people who may be at risk or need additional support because of their age, their mental or physical capabilities, or because of their work and professional responsibilities.

PFA involves the following concepts:

  • assessing needs and concerns
  • actively listening to people, but not pressuring them to talk
  • comforting people and helping them to feel calm
  • providing non-intrusive practical care and support
  • helping people connect to information, services and social supports
  • protecting people from further harm

Helping responsibly involves four main points:

  • Respect safety, dignity and rights
  • Be aware of other emergency response measures
  • Adapt what you do to take account of the person’s culture
  • Look after yourself

Caring for yourself and your colleagues:

  • Preparation to assist and support
  • Managing stress: Healthy work life balance
  • Rest and reflection

These are just some of the topics and areas of learning that will be offered through participation in this course. The course will be geared towards the conference participants that register for the PFA sessions and have practical cases based on hoarding, depopulation events, worker negative response incidents and frontline trauma situations. The aim is to enhance the education in the workforce around colleague mental health, self-care and how to create a positive working environment and a culture of care.

Join us in this progressive area of training and make your workplace better.