1 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster
2 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster Contents Foreword 2 Understanding psychological first aid 4 What is psychological first aid? 5 What psychological first aid isn t 6 Who benefits from psychological first aid? 7 The aim of psychological first aid 9 Five elements of psychological first aid 10 Who delivers psychological first aid? 12 Where is psychological first aid delivered? 13 Copyright Second edition published by: Australian Red Cross Pelham St, Carlton, Victoria 3053 and Australian Psychological Society Level 11, 257 Collins St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-publication data: ISBN: Photography copyright: All images are referenced within and remain the property of the Australian Red Cross, stated photographer, or other parties as noted. Within this resource, the term emergency is used and can apply to any form of emergency incident or disaster. Where the term disaster is used, this is interchangeable to emergency and connotations of one term over the other should not be made. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written consent of the publisher. Cover image: Australian Red Cross/Antony Balmain Australian Red Cross/Allan Reinikka Using psychological first aid in the field 14 Preparing to provide psychological first aid in the field 15 Important questions to ask before entering an emergency site 16 Psychological first aid action principles 18 Important questions and messages to consider when using psychological first aid 19 Adapting psychological first aid 22 For culture 23 For children and young people 24 For people with health conditions or physical or mental disabilities 26 Self care for people working in the field 28 Self care 29 Reducing stress 29 Useful organisations 32 References and resources 33 Acknowledgments 36
3 2 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 3 Foreword This psychological first aid guide is for people working in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. It provides an overview of best practice in psychological first aid following disasters and traumatic events. Each state and territory has plans to deal with the health impacts of disasters. Included in these plans are arrangements that cover the mental health impacts of emergencies. There are many types of psychological first aid and it is increasingly being used in the post disaster field. There is an urgent need for this technique to be given an Australian context. Psychological first aid needs to be packaged in a way that clearly outlines its aims, components, when it is used, where it can be applied, and who benefits from its use, who can deliver it. This guide sets out to achieve this aim in a simple form. It complements work done by the Disaster Response and Resilience Research Group at the University of Western Sydney. Dr Sally Wooding and Professor Beverley Raphael have written a chapter on psychological first aid that provides an overview of the field (see reference list). The guide is also used in conjunction with psychological first aid training delivered by Australian Red Cross. Emergency is the generic term used in Australia to describe disruptive and/ or destructive events that cause loss of life, property and livelihoods, injury and damage to communities. For the individual this may mean the loss of: near or significant loved ones control over one s own life and future hope and initiative dignity social infrastructure and institutions access to services property and belongings livelihoods place. After an emergency, people often lose confidence in the norms, networks, and trust in the society that is supposed to protect them 1. Until the late 1970s, the psychosocial aspect of emergencies was often ignored. Emergency management 1 For more information see International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies activities focused more on the rebuilding of towns damaged by floods, fire or storms and healing the physical wounds of those injured. Disaster mental health and the identification of post-traumatic stress disorder led to a shift in approaches to emergency management. Responses during this period focused on applying clinical mental health skills in emergency settings, for which they were never intended. It was then recognised that most people did not develop serious mental health issues after emergencies. Most people recover well with some basic support. This led to the development of psychological first aid as a primary tool after an emergency. It has been recognised both in Australia and internationally that psychosocial support in emergencies is best delivered as a community-based activity, rather than within a medical health system 2. Providing coordinated psychosocial support in emergencies has now become a critical part of preparing for, 2 For more information see Inter-Agency Standing Committee 2007; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2009; van Ommeran, Saxena & Saraceno responding to and recovering from an emergency. This guide is also in line with resources detailed in the Psychosocial Support in Disasters portal ( and the World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International (2011) Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. WHO: Geneva.
4 4 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 5 Understanding psychological first aid Australian Red Cross/Jack Tran What is psychological first aid? Psychological first aid is a humane, supportive response to a fellow human being who is suffering and who may need support 1. Psychological first aid is an approach to helping people affected by an emergency, disaster or traumatic event. It includes basic principles of support to promote natural recovery. This involves helping people to feel safe, connected to others, calm and hopeful, access physical, emotional and social support, and feel able to help themselves 2. Psychological first aid aims to reduce initial distress, meet current needs, promote flexible coping and encourage adjustment. Psychological first aid is useful as the first thing that you might do with individuals or families following a disaster. It is most widely used in the first hours, days and weeks following an event. Psychological first aid is based on an understanding that people affected by disasters will experience a range of early reactions (physical, psychological, emotional, 1 The Sphere Project and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee. 2 For more information see Hobfoll et al behavioural). These reactions may interfere with their ability to cope 3. These reactions are normal and understandable given people s experiences. Recovery may be helped by psychological first aid. A small part of an affected population will require further mental health support to assist recovery. But most people recover well on their own or with the support of compassionate and caring disaster workers, family and friends. Psychological first aid is most commonly used immediately after a disaster. But its use is not limited to this time period. Sometimes the first contact people have with psychological first aid comes months or even years after the emergency. Outreach visits conducted by Red Cross nine months after the 2009 Victorian bushfires, for example, were the first time many people received psychological first aid. Psychological first aid skills can also be applied to public inquiries and anniversaries of emergencies or traumatic events, all of which may take place years after the event. 3 For more information see Brymer et al
5 6 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 7 Psychological first aid has a long history 1. It has become more popular since the emergence of research showing the dangers of critical incident stress debriefing 2. Since 2002, psychological first aid has been recommended as a key part of the provision of psychosocial support following disasters. What psychological first aid isn t It is important to clarify what psychological first aid is NOT to differentiate it from earlier forms of post-disaster support, most notably critical-incident stress debriefing. It is not useful and may be harmful to directly encourage disaster survivors to talk about what happened to them if they do not want to. If a person wants to discuss their experiences, it is useful to provide them with support. But this should only be in a way that does not push them to discuss more than they want 3. 1 For more information see Drayer, Cameron, Woodward & Glass 1954; Raphael 1977a&b and For more information see National Institute of Mental Health 2002; Rose, Bisson & Wessley 2003; Bisson, Brayne, Ochberg & Everly 2007; Bisson & Lewis For more information see Watson et al. 2002; Ruzek et al. 2007; McNally, Bryant, & Ehlers Post-emergency settings are not clinical environments and it is inappropriate to conduct a clinical or psychological assessment within the setting. It is important to limit contact at this point to simple support, like psychological first aid. People who display marked signs of risk (e.g. suicidal tendencies) should be referred to formal mental health services. Psychological first aid is: NOT debriefing NOT obtaining details of traumatic experiences and losses NOT treating NOT labelling or diagnosing NOT counselling NOT something that only professionals can do NOT something that everybody who has been affected by an emergency will need. Who benefits from psychological first aid? The sudden, disruptive nature of emergencies means that people will be exposed to uncertainty and stress. People will experience different degrees of distress. Any person in distress should have access to psychological first aid, where possible. This includes adults, adolescents and children, as well as disaster relief workers and first responders. How people respond and cope depends on a variety of factors, including their experience of the emergency, their health, their personal history and their available supports. Some people may be at more risk of negative consequences. These may include those people who: have had previous traumatic experiences have underlying mental illnesses were exposed to events where the horror element was high thought they were going to die experienced traumatic bereavement have had serious losses of property, livelihoods, or disruption to communities and networks. There will also be some situations where people have an immediate need for more care than can be provided by psychological first aid. These people need to be promptly referred to specialised support. This includes people who are: seriously injured and needing emergency medical care so distressed that they are unable to perform the basic activities of daily life threatening harm to themselves or others. It is important to remember that not everyone who experiences an emergency will have emotional distress or problems during or after the crisis. Not everyone who experiences a crisis will need psychological first aid. Some protecting factors include 1 : good level of functioning social support ability to cope strong moral belief systems returning to normal life (i.e. reducing disruption). 1 For more information see Johns Hopkins School of Public Health & International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2008.
6 8 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 9 The aim of psychological first aid Psychological first aid is humane, caring and compassionate. It addresses emotional and practical needs and concerns above all else. An important aim of psychological first aid is to build people s capacity to recover. Psychological first aid supports recovery by helping people to identify their immediate needs and their strengths and abilities to meet these needs. One of the most important research findings is that a person s belief in their ability to cope can predict their outcome. Typically people who do better after trauma are those who are optimistic, positive and feel confident that life and self are predictable, or who display other hopeful beliefs 1. The goals of psychological first aid include efforts to: calm people reduce distress make people feel safe and secure identify and assist with current needs establish human connection facilitate people s social support help people understand the disaster and its context help people identify their own strengths and abilities to cope foster belief in people s ability to cope give hope assist with early screening for people needing further or specialised help promote adaptive functioning get people through the first period of high intensity and uncertainty set people up to be able to recover naturally from an event reduce the risk factors of mental illness as a result of the event, such as post traumatic stress disorder. Some people will need much more support than psychological first aid. Know your limits and ask for help from others who can provide medical or other assistance to avert a crisis. Australian Red Cross/Dave Tacon 1 For more information see Carver 1999, Ironson et al. 1997, Solomon 2003.
7 10 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 11 Five elements of psychological first aid There are five basic elements to psychological first aid that have been drawn from research on risk and resilience, field experience and expert agreement 1. The elements of psychological first aid are to promote: safety calm connectedness self-efficacy and group efficacy hope. 1. Promote safety Remove from, or reduce exposure to, threat of harm. Help people meet basic needs for food, water, shelter, financial and material assistance. Help people obtain emergency medical attention. Provide physical and emotional comfort. 1 For more information see Hobfoll et al. 2007, IFRC 2009, SAMHSA 2010, Queensland Health (2008). Provide repeated, simple and accurate information, in a range of methods, on how to get these basic needs met. 2. Promote calm Stabilise people who are overwhelmed or disoriented. Provide an environment, as far as practical, removed from stressful situations or exposure to sights, sounds and smells of the emergency. Listen to people who wish to share their stories and emotions, without forcing them to talk. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Be friendly and compassionate even if people are being difficult. Offer accurate information about the disaster or trauma and the relief efforts underway to help survivors understand the situation. Provide information on stress and coping. When they express fear or worry, remind people (if you know) that more help and services are on the way. 3. Promote connectedness Help people contact friends and loved ones. Keep families together. Keep children with parents or other close relatives whenever possible. Help establish contacts with support people (friends, family or community helping resources). Respect cultural norms regarding gender, age and family structures. Offer practical help to people to address immediate needs and concerns. Provide information and direct people to those services that are available. Link people with available services. Respect cultural norms regarding gender, age, family structures and religion. 4. Promote self efficacy Engage people in meeting their own needs. Assist with decision making, help them to prioritise problems and solve them. 5. Promote hope Convey expectancy that people will recover. Be there/be willing to help. Reassure people that their feelings are normal. Self efficacy is the belief that one s actions are likely to lead to positive outcomes, and feeling able to help oneself.
8 12 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 13 Who delivers psychological first aid? Psychological first aid should be delivered by appropriate agencies as part of state, regional/district or local emergency management plans. This means that responses can be undertaken in a coordinated manner and that psychosocial support is provided as a key part of the emergency response. In Australia, this coordinated response could include: health and allied health professionals, teachers and other education professionals, members of the clergy and other faith-based organisations, Red Cross personal support volunteers and other trained responders from community organisations, and local government staff. The principles of psychological first aid mean that it can be offered by a wide variety of people in the community from emergency personnel to neighbours and volunteers in addition to trained responders. Psychological first aid is a humane, supportive and practical response to a person who has been exposed to serious stresses and may need support 1. Most people responding to an emergency are able to provide this type of assistance, comfort and support to people in distress 2. The principles of psychological first aid are an important grounding for all emergency personnel responding to an emergency. Their primary focus will be on responding to the emergency. But these people are usually the first contact survivors have with the system. So they have an important role to play in assisting in helping to promote recovery in safe and effective ways. It is useful to differentiate between general psychological support and the way all emergency responders provide help in responsible ways. Responsible helping respects the dignity and capacity of survivors. The primary role of psychological first aid is to protect and promote the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of survivors. Where is psychological first aid delivered? Psychological first aid can be delivered in diverse settings. Psychological first aid could be delivered at the scene of the emergency or at places where affected people gather, such as: evacuation centres recovery centres hospitals humanitarian assistance centres homes schools businesses shopping centres airports train stations memorial services community centres. Psychological first aid can be offered by a wide variety of people in the community. 1 For more information see Inter-Agency Standing Committee For more information see World Health Organisation 2010.
9 14 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 15 Preparing to provide psychological first aid in the field 1 Many emergency situations can be stressful and often require urgent action. The more that is known about the situation, and the better prepared a person is psychologically, the more effective the support will be. Prior to using psychological first aid in the field people should: Learn about the crisis event. Learn about available services and supports. Learn about safety, access and security concerns. Consider their physical and mental preparedness. Using psychological first aid in the field Australian Red Cross/Dilini Perera 1 World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International (2011). Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. WHO: Geneva.
10 16 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 17 Important questions to ask before entering an emergency site The emergency event What happened? When and where did it take place? How many people are likely to be affected and who are they? How long did it go on for/will go on for? Available services and supports Who are the relevant authorities managing the crisis? Who is providing for basic needs like emergency first aid, food, water, material assistance, shelter? Where and how can people access these services? Who else is helping? Are community members involved in responding? Is the Register.Find.Reunite. service active to help families reunite? Safety and security concerns Is the crisis event over or continuing, such as aftershocks from an earthquake, or an unfolding flood event or high bushfire danger period? What dangers may be in the environment, such as debris or damaged infrastructure? Are there areas to avoid entering because they are not secure (for example, obvious physical dangers) or because you are not allowed to be there? Physical and mental preparedness Do you have everything you might need to be away from home/office (phone, charger, drink bottle, etc)? Have you let family members/friends know what you are doing and how long for? Have you made arrangements for children, people you are caring for and pets? Do you feel emotionally ready to provide psychological first aid? Australian Red Cross/Dilini Perera
11 18 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 19 Psychological first aid action principles 1 The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a framework consisting of three action principles to assist in the delivery of psychological first aid. These principles provide guidance for how to view and safely enter an emergency situation (LOOK) in order to understand the needs of affected people (LISTEN) and link them with the information and practical support they need (LINK). Principles Look Listen Actions Check for safety. Check for people with obvious urgent basic needs. Check for people with serious distress reactions. Approach people who may need support. Ask about people s needs and concerns. Listen to people and help them to feel calm. Link Help people address basic needs and access services. Help people cope with problems. Give information. Connect people with loved ones and social support. Important questions and messages to consider when using psychological first aid Look Check for safety What dangers can you observe, e.g. damaged road, unstable buildings, fire, flooding etc? Ask if you can be there safely without harming yourself or others If you are not certain that the area is safe, then DO NOT GO! Check for people with obvious urgent basic needs Does anyone need emergency first aid? Do people need urgent protection (e.g. clothing)? Are there any people who might need special attention? Know your role and try to obtain help for people who need special assistance or who have obvious urgent basic needs Check for people with serious distress reactions Are there people who are extremely upset, immobile, not responding to others, disturbing others, or in shock? Where and who are the most distressed people? Consider who may benefit from psychological first aid and how you can best help. 1 World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International (2011). Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. WHO: Geneva.
12 20 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 21 Listen Approach people who may need support Approach people respectfully and according to cultural norms Introduce yourself by name and organisation Ask if you can provide help If possible, find a quiet and safe place to talk Help the person feel comfortable Ask about the people s needs and concerns Address any obvious needs. For example, if a person s clothing is torn or they need a blanket Always ask for people s needs and concerns Do not assume you know Find out what is most important to them at this moment Help them work out what their priorities are Listen to people and help them to feel calm Stay close to the person Do not pressure the person to talk Listen in case they want to talk about what happened If they are very distressed help them to feel calm and try to make sure they are not alone Link Help people address basic needs and access services For example, food, water, shelter, material needs Learn what specific needs people have and try to link them to available assistance Do not make promises you cannot keep Help people cope with problems Help identify their most urgent practical needs and assist with prioritising Help the person identify support people Give practical suggestions for people to meet their own needs (e.g. how to register with Centrelink etc) Give information Find out where to get information and updates Try to get as much information as you can before approaching people with support Keep updated Only say what you know Connect people with loved ones and social support Keep families together and children with their parents Help people to contact friends or relatives. If prayer or religious practice is important people may benefit from being linked with their spiritual base
13 22 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 23 Adapting psychological first aid Australian Red Cross/Rodney Dekker For culture Culture can refer to the behaviours and beliefs of a person s social, ethnic and/or age group. Culture determines how we relate to people, and what is right and not right to say and do. It is important to adapt our communications with people as a way of being respectful to their choice of culture. Consider the following questions: Dress Do helpers need to dress a certain way to be respectful? Body covering? Colours? Will people affected be in need of certain clothing items to keep their dignity and customs? Language What is the customary way of greeting people in this culture? What language do they speak? Are there formal and informal forms of address? Gender, age and power Should affected women only be approached by women helpers? Who may be approached (in other words, the head of the family or community)? Touching and behaviour What are the usual customs around touching people? Is it all right to hold someone s hand or touch their shoulder? Are there special things to consider in terms of behaviour around the elderly, children, women or others? Is eye contact appropriate? Beliefs and religion Who are the different ethnic and religious groups among the affected people? What beliefs or practices are important to the people affected? How might they understand or explain what has happened?
14 24 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 25 For children and young people The following points are important when using psychological first aid with children and young people 1. Keep together with loved ones When unaccompanied, link them with a trustworthy child protection network or agency. Do not leave the child unattended. Be wary of offers of help with looking after children from unauthorised strangers. If no child protection agency is available, take steps to find their caregivers or to contact other family who can care for them. Keep safe Protect them from being exposed to any gruesome scenes, like injured people or terrible destruction. Protect them from hearing upsetting stories about the event. Protect them from the media or from people who want to interview them who are not part of the emergency response. 1 World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International (2011). Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. WHO: Geneva. Listen, talk and play Be calm, talk softly and be kind. Introduce yourself by name and let them know you are there to help. Find out their name, where they are from, and any information you can in order to help find their caregivers and other family members. Listen to children s views on their situation. Try to talk with them on their eye level, and use words and explanations they can understand. Support the caregivers in taking care of their own children. If passing time with children, try to involve them in play activities or simple conversation about their interests, according to their age. Australian Red Cross/Antony Balmain
15 26 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 27 For people with health conditions or physical or mental disabilities The following points are important when assisting people who may have health conditions or physical or mental disabilities. Help people get to a safe space. Ask people if they have any health conditions, or if they regularly take medication for a health problem. Try to help people get their medication or access medical services, when available. Stay with the person or try to make sure they have someone to help them if you need to leave. Consider linking the person with relevant support to assist them in the longer term 1. People with a disability, particularly a cognitive disability, may rely upon rigid routines in their lives. Disruption to these routines may make them highly anxious. 1 World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International (2011). Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. WHO: Geneva. Face and speak directly to the person rather than through the companion, attendant or sign-language interpreter who may also be present. For example do not say tell her... or can he... Never speak about the person as if they are invisible, cannot understand what is being said or cannot speak for themselves. If a person requires an interpreter or carer to assist them in conversation, make sure there is enough time for the person to absorb information and respond on their own. Allow for short breaks if a person needs extra time to process information. Offer several different options for further contact. Some people may feel more comfortable with face to face interaction while others may prefer the telephone or Australian Emergency Management Institute, Community Recovery Handbook 2 Remember that people are resilient. All people have the ability to cope. Help people use familiar coping strategies and supports. Australian Red Cross/Bradley Kanaris
16 28 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 29 Self care Reducing stress Self Care for people working in the field Australian Red Cross/Rodney Dekker The delivery of psychological first aid following an emergency can be very rewarding for people involved in the emergency response. However, it can also be very challenging and stressful. It is not uncommon for people to feel stressed, distressed, tired, overwhelmed, troubled, or frustrated in the course of their work. Stress is the body s way of getting energy to operate outside our normal comfort zone. Stress is caused by stressors, these can be internal, such as thoughts or feelings or external, such as poor health, conflict, noise etc. If it is not possible to relax between demands, or there is not enough time to unwind between the problems, the stress builds up. It is not the actual difficulty of the task that causes chronic stress; it may be the sheer quantity or continuity of work 1. 1 Gordon, R (2005). Information and advice about stress, trauma and psychological first aid. Stress will not resolve spontaneously. People need to take steps to break the cycle of stress. It is important to identify what causes stress for you and put in place some steps to reduce stress. This sort of self care is especially important if we wish to support others during times of crisis 1. Think about what has helped you cope in the past and what you can do to stay strong. Try to take time to eat, rest and relax, even for short periods. Try to keep reasonable working hours so you do not become too exhausted. Consider, for example, dividing the workload among helpers, working in shifts during the acute phase of the crisis and taking regular rest periods. People may have many problems after a crisis event. You may feel inadequate or frustrated when you cannot help people with all of their problems. Remember that you are not responsible for solving all of people s problems. Do what you can to help people help themselves.
17 30 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 31 Minimise your intake of alcohol, caffeine or nicotine and avoid nonprescription drugs. Check in with fellow helpers to see how they are doing, and have them check in with you. Find ways to support each other. Talk with friends, loved ones or other people you trust for support. Psychological first aid is a human, caring and compassionate response that addresses practical needs and concerns above all else.
18 32 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 33 Useful organisations Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network (ACATLGN) Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (ACPMH) Australian Psychological Society (APS) Australian Red Cross beyondblue Department of Human Services (DHS), State Government of Victoria Department of Health (Queensland) useful_links/disaster.asp Disaster Response and Resilience Research Group, University of Western Sydney resilience/disaster_response_and_ resilience Emergency Management In Australia Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Psyho-social Support Reference Centre National Center for PTSD National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Psychosocial Support in Disasters Portal Sphere Project for Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) World Health Organization (WHO) References and resources ACPMH 2009, Community Recovery Following Disaster: Training for Community Support People Workshop Guide and Resource, Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health & beyondblue, Melbourne, Australia. Australian Emergency Management Institute, Community Recovery Handbook 2. Bisson, JI, Brayne, M, Ochberg, FM & Everly, GS 2007, Early psychological intervention following traumatic events, American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 164, pp Bisson, JI & Lewis, C 2009, Systematic Review of Psychological First Aid, commissioned by the World Health Organization. Brymer, M, Jacobs, A, Layne, C, Pynoos, R, Ruzek, J, Steinberg, A, Vernberg, E & Watson, P 2006, Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide, 2nd edn, National Child Traumatic Stress Network & National Center for PTSD, USA. Carver, C 1999, Resilience and thriving: Issues, models and linkages, Journal of Social Issues, vol. 54, pp Drayer, CS, Cameron, DC, Woodward, WD & Glass, AJ 1954, Psychological first aid in community disaster. Journal of American Medical Association, vol. 156, 1, pp Hobfoll, SE, Watson, P, Bell, CC, Bryant, RA, Brymer, MJ, Friedman, MJ et al. 2007, Five essential elements of immediate and mid-term mass trauma intervention: Empirical evidence, Psychiatry, vol. 70, pp International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 2009, Psychosocial Handbook, International Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, Copenhagen, Denmark. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) 2007, IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, IASC, Geneva, Switzerland. Ironson, G, Wynings, C, Schneiderman, N, Baum, A, Rodriguez, M, Greenwood, D et al. 1997, Post-traumatic stress symptoms, intrusive, thoughts, loss, and immune function after Hurricane Andrew, Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 59, pp
19 34 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 35 Jacobs, G 2010, Roundtable discussion between Professor Jerry Jacobs and various Australian emergency management experts, 19 July 2010, Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne, Australia. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health & International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2008, Public Health Guide in Emergencies, 2nd edn, Geneva, Switzerland. Does early psychological intervention promote recovery from posttraumatic stress?, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, vol. 4, pp National Institute of Mental Health 2002, Mental Health and Mass Violence Evidence-based early Psychological Intervention for Victims/Survivors of Mass Violence, NIMH publication No , US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, USA. Queensland Health (2008) Psychological First Aid Core Actions Emergency Management Unit Fact Sheet. Raphael, B 1977a, Preventive intervention with the recently bereaved Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 34, pp Raphael, B 1977b, The Granville train disaster: Psychological needs and their management, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 1, pp Raphael, B 1986, When Disaster Strikes How Individuals and Communities Cope with Catastrophe, Basic Books, New York, USA. Raphael, B, Stevens, G & Taylor, M 2009, Disaster Response and Resilience Research Group, University of Western Sydney, Australia. Rose, S, Bisson, J & Wessley, S 2003, A systematic review of single psychological interventions ( debriefing ) following trauma Updating the Cochrane review and implications for good practice, in RJ Orner & U Schnyder (eds) Reconstructing Early Intervention after Trauma Innovations in the Care of Survivors, pp. 24 9, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Ruzek, JI, Brymer, MJ, Jacobs, AK, Layne, CM, Vernberg, EM & Watson, PJ 2007, Psychological first aid, Journal of Mental Health Counseling, vol. 29, pp Solomon, Z 2003, Coping with War-Induced Stress The Gulf War and the Israeli Response, Plenum, New York, USA. Stevens, G & Raphael, B 2008a, CBRN SAFE: Psychosocial Guidance for Emergency Workers Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear Incidents, University of Western Sydney, Australia. Stevens, G & Raphael, B 2008b, CBRN SAFE Incident Pocket Guide, University of Western Sydney, Australia. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2007, Psychological First Aid A Guide for Emergency and Disaster Response Workers, US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC, USA. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2010, Psychological First Aid for First Responders Tips for Emergency and Disaster Response Workers ( van Ommeran, M, Saxena, S & Saraceno, B 2005, Mental and social health during and after acute emergencies Emerging consensus?, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, vol. 83, pp Watson, PJ, Friedman, MJ, Ruzek JI & Norris, FH 2002, Managing acute stress response to major trauma, Current Psychiatry Reports, vol. 4, pp World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International (2011). Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. WHO: Geneva. World Health Organization (WHO) 2010, Helping in Crisis Situations in Low and Middle Income Countries Guide to Psychological First Aid currently in draft. Wooding, S & Raphael, B Psychological First Aid Level 1 Intervention Following Mass Disaster, University of Western Sydney, Australia. Young, B 2006, The immediate response to disaster Guidelines for adult psychological first aid, in EC Richie, PJ Watson & MJ Friedman (eds) Interventions Following Mass Violence and Disasters Strategies for Mental Health Practices, pp , Gilford Press, New York, USA.
20 36 Psychological First Aid An Australian guide to supporting people affected by disaster 37 Acknowledgments This guide was produced by the Australian Psychological Society and Australian Red Cross in The first edition was developed following roundtable discussions on 15 December 2009, co-hosted by Australian Red Cross and the Australian Psychological Society. The roundtable was attended by representatives of both organisations, the National Mental Health Disaster Response Taskforce, Australian Centre for Post traumatic Mental Health and the Victorian Department of Human Services. The first edition of the guide was based on discussions at the roundtable and material developed in the United States by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the paper Five essential elements of immediate and mid-term mass trauma intervention: Empirical evidence by Stevan Hobfoll and colleagues in This second edition, released in 2013, has been updated to include additional information on using psychological first aid. This information has been reproduced courtesy of the World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International from the document Psychological first Aid: Guide for field Workers. This edition supports Psychological First Aid training developed by Australian Red Cross in The principal authors of this resource were: Dr Susie Burke Australian Psychological Society John Richardson Shona Whitton Australian Red Cross The guide was informed by participants at the 2009 roundtable and those that have provided subsequent comments, including: Professor Richard Bryant University of New South Wales Brigid Clarke Victorian Department of Health Andrew Coghlan Charmaine O Brien Sally Paynter Australian Red Cross Professor Mark Creamer Australian Centre for Post Traumatic Mental Health Greg Eustace Queensland Health Dr Rob Gordon Consultant Psychologist to Department of Human Services Victoria, and Australian Red Cross Heather Gridley Craig Wallace Australian Psychological Society Dr Bob Montgomery Consultant Psychologist, Past President Australian Psychological Society Professor Beverley Raphael University of Western Sydney and the Australian National University Associate Professor Joseph Reser Griffith University Professor Kevin Ronan University of Central Queensland Dr Sally Wooding University of Western Sydney The second edition was informed by the work of: Alison Schafer World Vision Australia/International Mark van Ommeran World Health Organisation Leslie Snider War Trauma Foundation
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NSW Health Disaster Mental Health Handbook 2 Psychological First Aid (PFA): Level 1 Intervention following Mass Disaster A collaboration between NSW Health and University of Western Sydney Handbook 2 -
Disaster Mental Health People have always given aid and comfort to each other during times of disaster. However, attempts to structure and professionalize this assistance are fairly recent developments.
Psychological First Aid Training For Emergency Responders Overview What You Will Learn Impact of disaster on communities Psychological First Aid When to refer Disaster do s/don ts Taking care of self and
Your guide to anxiety treatment after a motor vehicle accident November 2003 ISBN 1 876958 16 2 Published by the Motor Accidents Authority of NSW Level 22, 580 George Street, Sydney 2000 Phone: 1300 137
Critical Incidents Information for schools from Derbyshire Educational Psychology Service Introduction to Critical Incidents A critical incident (CI) is any event that is unexpected, acute, stressful and
Sample Emergency and Critical Incident Policy and Procedure 1. Purpose and Scope Emergencies and critical incidents in the workplace can affect people physically and psychologically, and affect program
Fact Sheet: POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER What is post traumatic stress disorder? Frightening and overwhelming traumatic experiences can have a strong impact on your mind and emotions, especially if they
Page 1 Listen, Protect, and Connect PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID FOR CHILDREN, PARENTS, AND OTHER CAREGIVERS AFTER NATURAL DISASTERS Helping you and your child in times of disaster. Page 2 As a parent or adult
Policy for Preventing and Managing Critical Incident Stress Document reference number HSAG 2012/3 Document developed by Revision number 1.0 Document approved by Consultation with 14 September 2012 Presented
Do you help people recover from trauma? 2015 training programs Do you or your staff help people who have experienced trauma? Phoenix Australia s training programs teach the skills required by a range of
Understanding NICE guidance Information for people who use NHS services Borderline personality disorder NICE clinical guidelines advise the NHS on caring for people with specific conditions or diseases
Management Assistance Program COMMUNICATING WITH EMPLOYEES DURING A CRISIS: How to prepare and help employees cope with a workplace related crisis GOALS: The goal of this module is to provide organizations,
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD Introduction Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a common disorder in which a person experiences disabling anxiety after a traumatic event. People with PTSD
Helping Children After a Wildfire: Tips for Parents and Teachers Natural disasters can be traumatic for children and youth. Experiencing a dangerous wildfire can be frightening even for adults, and the
Activity 3: Observe Psychological First Aid In this activity you have the opportunity to hear a conversation between a survivor of bomb blast and a Red Cross behavioral health volunteer. This role play
Emergency recovery lesson plans Early childhood for students aged 3 to 5 July 2012 These resources are part of Australian Red Cross s non-hazard-specific REDiPlan program and complement Red Cross s Emergency
Social and Emotional Wellbeing A Guide for Children s Services Educators Social and emotional wellbeing may also be called mental health, which is different from mental illness. Mental health is our capacity
Livingstones Session MANAGING A CRITICAL INCIDENT AT WORK 1 OBJECTIVES Understand what a critical incident is, and why we should care how we manage critical incidents Describe the different impacts that
Helping Children Cope with Disaster This booklet offers parents, caregivers, and other adults suggestions on how to help children cope with the effects of disaster, as well as how to be prepared before
CRITICAL INCIDENT RESPONSE POLICY Policy Status CURRENT Policy Classification Operational Date of Policy 2005 Date of Review 2011 PREAMBLE A critical incident can occur at any time and in turn will affect
Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters For Parents of Children Exposed to Violence or Disaster What Parents Can Do From the National Institute of Mental Health Violence or natural
Royal Manchester Children s Hospital Supporting your child after a burn injury Information for Parents and Carers of Young Children 2 Contents Page Introduction 4 Trauma and children 4 Normal reactions
USVH Disease of the Week #1: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Effects of Traumatic Experiences A National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet By: Eve B. Carlson, Ph.D. and Josef Ruzek, Ph.D. When people find
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was introduced into the American Psychiatric Association s official manual (DSM) in 1980. PTSD
Offenders and their families - making a difference CRISIS CARE COMMITMENT Red Cross is committed to an inclusive society where all people are valued, their differences are respected and their basic needs
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Reauthorization 111 th Congress Introduction The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization
GUIDANCE FOR CAREGIVERS: CHILDREN OR TEENS WHO HAD A LOVED ONE DIE IN THE EARTHQUAKE Introduction to trauma The earthquake was a terrifying disaster for adults, children, families, and communities. The
Treatment Description Acronym (abbreviation) for intervention: PFA Average length/number of sessions: 1 Aspects of culture or group experiences that are addressed (e.g., faith/spiritual component, transportation
Handout: Risk The more risk factors to which a child is exposed the greater their vulnerability to mental health problems. Risk does not cause mental health problems but it is cumulative and does predispose
Caring For The Person Who Is Suicidal For further information see also the following MIND Essentials resource Conducting a suicide risk assessment. Suicidal thoughts and behaviours are not unique to mental
LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF AFTER A DISASTER CONTENTS Introduction 3 Common reactions to an extraordinary event 4 Dealing with the emotional impact of a natural disaster 6 When the reaction or distress does
SOME TIPS FOR COPING AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE An event such as the Christchurch earthquake, which is outside the range of usual experience, can be acutely distressing. It is not unusual to have a stress reaction
Anxiety and are common in people with asthma. The good news is that there are effective treatments both for asthma and for anxiety and. With careful management, the symptoms of anxiety and can be treated
Trauma FAQs Content 1. What is trauma? 2. What events are traumatic? 3. Who experiences trauma? 4. What are symptoms of trauma? 5. How can I help someone who may be experiencing trauma? 6. Where can people
Haiti and the Children Post Earthquake Marlene Goodfriend The Facts Port au Prince and surrounds were at the epicenter 50% of medical facilities in western Haiti were destroyed The pediatric department
Helping Families Deal with Stress Related to Disasters Diana DelCampo, Ph.D., Child Development and Family Life Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org A disaster is an event that: Involves the destruction of property,
Queensland State Emergency Service Operations Doctrine Human Resources Business Management Directives Peer Support Version: 1.0 Valid from: 14/05/2008 BMH 19.0 1. PURPOSE To outline the scope and functions
nn Mental Illness Facts and Statistics This section contains a brief overview of facts and statistics about mental illness in Australia as well as information that may be useful in countering common myths.
It is devastating to have a suicidal family member and to live with the feelings that go with this kind of traumatic anxiety. That is why this guide is developed for you. It will give you some important
Mental Health First Aid Awareness Presenter: Kate Brooks / Michelle Bakjac Registered Psychologist / CHG Accredited Trainer Course Overview What is mental illness What is mental health first aid and why
Tool kit Domestic Violence A self-help resource to help people living with domestic violence Lifeline s domestic violence tool kit provides information about: Understanding what domestic violence is Developing
Emergency and Critical Incident Policy and Procedure 1. Purpose and scope Emergencies and critical incidents in the workplace can affect people physically and psychologically, and affect the business continuity
National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools Commonwealth of Australia 2005 ISBN: 0 642 77496 X ISBN: 0 642 77497 8 (online
FACT SHEET TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE FOR WORKING WITH HOMELESS VETERANS According to SAMHSA 1, trauma-informed care includes having a basic understanding of how trauma affects the life of individuals seeking
ST JOSEPH S SCHOOL S O U T H E R N C R O S S CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLANNING IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS RATIONALE Catholic schools have a responsibility to provide a safe and supportive environment for staff, students
KidsMatter Early Childhood Connecting with the Early Childhood Education and Care National Quality Framework KidsMatter Early Childhood KidsMatter Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative has been developed
THE EFFECTS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN Where Does It Hurt? Child Abuse Hurts Us All Every child has the right to be nurtured and to be safe. According to: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile
Aims This guide aims to: Give parents and carers an understanding of what trauma is and some of the common reactions you might see in children and young people who have experienced a trauma (examples of
Supporting Children s Mental Health Needs in the Aftermath of a Disaster: Pediatric Pearls Satellite Conference and Live Webcast Thursday, August 25, 2011 5:30 7:00 p.m. Central Time Faculty David J. Schonfeld,
After Sexual Assault A Recovery Guide for Survivors SAFE HORIZON 24-Hour Hotline: 212 227 3000 www.safehorizon.org SAFE HORIZON hopes this guide will help the recovery of anyone whose life has been affected
Bereavement Support Booklet for Residential Aged Care Staff This booklet has been compiled to assist residential aged care staff to better understand the experience, risks and impacts associated with loss
Wesley Mental Health Depression and Anxiety Programs Wesley Hospital Ashfield Journey together Mission Continuing the work of Jesus Christ in Word and deed Wesley Mission is an organisation with a long
Post-traumatic stress disorder overview A NICE pathway brings together all NICE guidance, quality standards and materials to support implementation on a specific topic area. The pathways are interactive
Standards of proficiency Operating department practitioners Contents Foreword 1 Introduction 3 Standards of proficiency 7 Foreword We are pleased to present the Health and Care Professions Council s standards
1 Kids Have Stress Too! Especially at Back to School Time As a Parent, You Can Help! Stress can infect and affect the physical, emotional, intellectual and academic well being of children. It can interfere
CONTINUING THE HEALING JOURNEY Booklet produced for the Victorian Bushfire Support and Training for Affected Schools Project May 2010 D1.1 This project was funded by the Australian Government. 1 THE AUTHOR
Lead and manage the provision of care services that deals effectively with transitions and significant life events Overview This standard identifies the requirements associated with leading and managing
Protecting Children Information for families and carers involved in the child protection process This leaflet provides information for families who are involved in the child protection process. It will
The treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults and children Understanding NICE guidance information for people with PTSD, their advocates and carers, and the public The paragraphs are
Traumatic Stress and Substance Use Problems The relation between substance use and trauma Research demonstrates a strong link between exposure to traumatic events and substance use problems. Many people
STRESS POLICY Title Who should use this Author Stress Policy All Staff SAC Approved by Management Team Approved by Joint Board Reviewer Head of Valuation Services Review Date 2018 REVIEW NO. DETAILS Review
Critical Incident Management Plan 1. PURPOSE/ PREAMBLE BCIT is committed to promoting individual and community well-being, safety and security by protecting the learning, teaching and working environments
FRAMEWORK OF A SUICIDE RISK SCREENING TOOL (Hawgood & De Leo, 2014) 1 P a g e Copyright Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, 2014. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright
Standards of proficiency Social workers in England Contents Foreword 1 Introduction 3 Standards of proficiency 7 Foreword We are pleased to present the Health and Care Professions Council s standards of
Child Protection Policy All photographers and staff at Success Photography must ensure that: The welfare of the child is paramount. All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language,
Coping with trauma and loss Coping with trauma and loss Someone close to you may have died in sudden and/or traumatic circumstances. You may have witnessed the death, or the deaths and injury of others.
DEALING WITH WORKPLACE BULLYING - A WORKER S GUIDE NOVEMBER 2013 Safe Work Australia is an Australian Government statutory agency established in 2009. Safe Work Australia consists of representatives of
Our Mission To provide free psychological services to young people and their families. Our Vision Optimising sustainable psychological health and emotional wellbeing for young people. 1 Helping Students,
Psychological First Aid for Schools and Skills for Psychological Recovery: Immediate and Intermediate Response Interventions for Schools Impacted by Disaster Douglas W. Walker, PhD Clinical Director Mercy
Trauma and the Family: Listening and learning from families impacted by psychological trauma Focus Group Report A summary of reflections and remarks made by Baltimore City families impacted by trauma and
'Swampy Territory' The role of the palliative care social worker in safeguarding children of adults who are receiving specialist palliative care This qualitative study explores the role of the palliative
Helping Children After a Natural Disaster: Information for Parents and Teachers By Philip J. Lazarus, NCSP, Florida International University Shane R. Jimerson, NCSP, University of California, Santa Barbara
Depression and anxiety disorders in women Fact sheet 13 Good mental health is essential to the overall health of both men and women, but women experience some mental health problems (including depression,
Traumatic Stress with Alcohol and/or Drug Addiction information for individuals and families Eastern Trauma Advisory Panel What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? How people react to a traumatic