Health Self Help



Let me ask you a simple question. How many of you know about Psychological First Aid shortly known as PFA? I’m sure not many. People who study psychology don’t know about it so leave aside the others.

So today I am going to tell you all about PFA. This is not just something which is for psychology related professionals but it proves to be very helpful for each and every person out there who is battling with conflicts or PTSD. PFA is something everyone needs at some point in their life and therefore everyone must know and learn about it.

It is a framework for supporting people in ways that respect their dignity, culture, and abilities. It covers both social and psychological support. This guide will help you to know the most supportive things to say and do for people who are very disturbed. According to SPHERE (2011) and IASC (2007), PFA describes a humane, supportive response to a fellow human being who is suffering and who may need support. PFA is not something that only professionals can do nor it is professional counseling. PFA is about access to social, physical, or emotional support. It is about feeling safe and connected to others. It is aimed at helping people who have been very recently affected by a crisis event.

PFA’s action principles include: LOOK, LISTEN, LINK.

Look out for safety, people with obvious urgent basic needs, and for people with serious distress reactions. Listen to people who may need your support, ask them about their needs and concerns, and make them feel calm. Link people with their loved ones and to all the emergency services that they might need. 

Your communication should also be soft with people. Also sometimes silence is what is needed after a disastrous event. You can not force anybody to open up and tell their sufferings or stories to you. Keeping silent for a while may give the person much-needed space to open in front of you. 

Also while taking care of others and providing them help, it is very important to keep yourself sane. Take rest from time to time. Take care of yourselves and your colleagues, so you can best take care of others.

To know more in detail about PFA refer to WHO’s website, download the PDF document in any language you want and give it a read. Help those in need always.


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