Psychological First Aid

Research shows that any psychological intervention in a critical incident response should be delivered as part of a broader Critical Incident Stress Management system that has been drafted prior to the incident. According to evidence-based psychological best practice, the response to this scenario will require Psychological First Aid (PFA).

PFA involves the following actions:

  1. Promoting a sense of safety - both physical and psychological: e.g. “the site is safe now, you are not alone.”
  2. Promoting a sense of calm: e.g. “the danger has passed, support is here.”
  3. Promoting a sense of self or group efficacy: e.g. “you/we/our team has been through difficult situations before and supported one another to get through.”
  4. Promoting a sense of connectedness: “you are part of a team/group/unit who all pull together”
  5. Promoting hope: “we can get through this/story telling of past difficult events”