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Psychological First Aid: Guide for Fieldworkers

World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision
International (2011). Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. WHO: Geneva.

“Psychological first aid has been recommended by many international and national expert groups, including the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the Sphere Project. Psychological first aid is an alternative to psychological debriefing. In 2009, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mhGAP Guidelines Development Group evaluated the evidence for psychological first aid and psychological debriefing. They concluded that psychological first aid, rather than psychological debriefing, should be offered to people in severe distress after being recently exposed to a traumatic event.

This guide was developed in order to have widely agreed upon psychological first aid materials for use in low and middle income countries. The information we have given here is a model only. You will need to adapt it appropriately to the local context and the culture of the people you will help.

This guide – endorsed by many international agencies – reflects the emerging science and international consensus on how to support people in the immediate aftermath of extremely stressful events”

For materials and discussions related to training on Psychological First Aid and adaptation of resources and training approaches to different cultural contexts, trainee groups and situations, please join the group PFA Training and Adaptation.

  1. Great to see that after over a decade, emergency psychosocial support is finally coming together.

  2. Excellent guide, very clear definitions, procedures and practical tips to provide PFA. This guide will really have impact around the world, in different cultures and after very different emergencies. The illustrative examples of conversation are really innovative. Bravo!

  3. This is fantastic! Any news on when translated versions will be available?

  4. The efforts are appreciable. The concepts are very clearly defined. I was wondering when can we have translated versions available. I am working in Pakistan with emergency service providing organizations. I am willing to extend my support if the guidelines are to be translated in URDU language.


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