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What is Psychological First Aid?


When we witness someone in an emergency, what do we do? We call in the experts. We dial 911 and wait for the professional first responders, or those trained to handle emergencies, to come to the rescue. But, what can we do as bystanders to help alleviate some anxiety or stress in the wait for help?

There is a training that could help prepare us for these moments: Psychological First Aid.

Psychological First Aid(PFA) is a training that aims to help people affected by an emergency, disaster, or traumatic event and it includes basic principles of support to promote recovery, both physically and mentally. These events can be disruptive or destructive and can potentially cause great loss. They could be the loss of a loved one, loss of property, or even loss of hope, dignity, or control (1). While we cannot heal the physical wounds like a trained first responder, we can start the process to easing the mental burden. Becoming trained in PFA can help you to create a sense of safety and calmness for those involved in the situation.

The Metro Area Suicide Prevention Coalition and its partners, The Kim Foundation and Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare, is offering this course at no charge to attendees. If you are interested in attending this Psychological First Aid Training, please contact Janae Shillito at jshillito@thekimfoundation.org or 402-891-6964.

Resources:

1.       https://www.redcross.org.au/getmedia/23276bd8-a627-48fe-87c2-5bc6b6b61eec/Psychological-First-Aid-An-Australian-Guide.pdf.aspx

2.       https://blog.nols.edu/2017/05/22/5-components-psychological-first-aid

Janae Shillito, Community Relations Director, The Kim Foundation, http://www.thekimfoundation.org/

Janae Shillito has been with The Kim Foundation since February 2017. She holds two science degrees with her alma maters including the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Janae’s love of volunteering and helping those without a voice created a strong desire to become a part of the non-profit world. She enjoys anything crafty, reading a good book, and being outside with her husband, Cory, and Rottweiler, Hank.

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