Psychological First Aid (PFA) in disaster management in the Caribbean. Second Edition - 2020

Introduction to the course:
The Psychological First Aid (PFA) course is a twelve-hour self-paced training. It aims to equip lay persons with the tools to appropriately provide the initial response to individuals experiencing psychological distress secondary to crisis situations.

The second edition of this course includes special considerations for how to utilize PFA skills in ways that are safe for both the helper and the person who is in distress during an outbreak of disease, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This new content has been integrated across the 6 modules of the course.

Purpose:
To provide a framework for caretakers/ volunteers/ first responders to deliver psychological and social support for individuals in crisis situations.

Objectives:
The learning objectives of this course are:

  1. To define Psychological First Aid (PFA).
  2. Describe factors to consider in providing PFA.
  3. Discuss the process of providing PFA.
  4. List actions PFA providers take to care for self and colleagues.
  5. Identification of individuals with special needs.
  6. Application of PFA to various crisis scenarios.

Appropiate Audience:
Psychological First Aid is written for all persons including volunteers and lay persons in the community who may be in a position to support the psychological and social well-being of individuals during and after a crisis e.g. relief agency volunteers, teachers, religious leaders, etc.

Course duration:
The course is open and available in the VCPH. As it is a self-learning course, participants can regulate their times and moments of dedication. When including the estimated time to review the course contents and the Final Exam, the course is assigned a total of 12 hours.

Course Structure:
Module 1 - Understanding PFA (1 hour)
Module 2 - How to Help Responsibly (1,5 hour)
Module 3 - Providing PFA (3,5 hours)
Module 4 - People who likely need special attention (2,5 hours)
Module 5 - Caring for Self and Colleagues (1.5 hours)
Module 6 – Practicing PFA Skills (1,5 hour)