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Psychological first aid: Facilitator’s manual for orienting field workers

This manual is designed to orient helpers to offer psychological first aid (PFA) to people following a serious crisis event. PFA involves humane, supportive and practical assistance for people who are distressed, in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities.

The orientation aims to build the capacity of helpers in crisis situations:

  • To approach a situation safely, for themselves and others;

  • To say and do the most supportive things for very distressed people; and

  • To NOT cause further harm by their actions.

The orientation provides many opportunities for participants to develop and practise PFA skills. The orientation will not give participants clinical skills in “counselling.” A key learning objective is for participants to understand the boundaries of the support they can provide and when to refer people for more specialised assistance.


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