Embracing techniques of psychological first aid to help others

Responders must ideally be trained in the essential techniques of psychological first aid (PFA) before they can effectively help others cope with the traumatic effects of a crisis.

WOU’s School of Education, Humanities & Social Sciences (SEHS) lecturer Dr Chong Chew Wuei was speaking on “Psychological First Aid: Helping Each Other during a Crisis’ . About 40 people attended the online public talk jointly organised today by SEHS and the Penang Regional Centre.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID SEEKS TO REDUCE THE TRAUMATIC EFFECTS OF A CRISIS AND HELP PEOPLE COPE.

He defined PFA as “a way to help people deal with the early reaction to traumatic events”. He said a responder does not need experience or certification but must know the basic techniques. He highlighted that people have a certain natural threshold to cope with crisis and once that is breached, it can lead to clinical depression or other serious consequences, and so the person would then need professional help.

Dr Chong provided five techniques of PFA for a responder/helper– safety; calm; connectedness; efficacy; and hope. The helper should follow the safety SOP regardless of the crisis, meet the person’s basic needs, e.g. food, clothing, shelter, and recommend the use of trusted sources of information.

ONE OF THE TECHNIQUES OR ELEMENTS OF PFA IS SAFETY.

Next, the responder must be calm themselves before they can help another person. “Speak slowly, maintain an active listening posture, have eye contact and no crossing of arms. When talking about their issue, try to normalise their distress reactions, say it is normal, everyone will experience it. Limit their news intake.”

For connectedness, the responder should encourage the person to have social connections and maintain contacts with friends or loved ones. If needed, they can offer ongoing support or refer the person to suitable NGOs.

DR CHONG IS A LECTURER AT THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES.

Efficacy, he elaborated, is helping the person lead a normal life. “Identify what they can control and cannot control (e.g. interstate travel), and get them to focus on the controllables.” He urged participants to focus on meeting the person’s current needs e.g. finances, and to help set realistic goals, prioritise tasks, and schedule self-care in their daily routine. “Cultural, religious, spiritual routines e.g. prayer, can help,” he added.

Dr Chong said the most important element of PFA is offering hope. “Reassure they are not alone; we are all going through this together. Tell them that the crisis will end, that feeling distress is normal and there is nothing wrong in asking for help. Be kind and show you care. Help the person find something good from the experience. “

OFFERING HOPE TO THE PERSON UNDER STRESS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

He stressed that a responder of PFA must be prepared to help, being equipped with the required information and emotionally ready to offer support.  The responder should look out for people with obvious urgent basic needs or with distress reactions (e.g. despair, loss of appetite, numb, confused, crying for no reason, etc), listen, acknowledge the person’s concerns, and link the person to the help, including access to finances or social support.

During Q&A, he said anyone can be a responder and that SEHS is planning to organise training workshops on PFA.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published.

On Key

Related Posts

admin@wou
Posted by admin@wou
June 28, 2022

Manufacturers Advised to adopt IR 4.0 Technologies that match Desired Outcome

Implementing changes under the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
June 22, 2022

Students Awarded for their Final Year Dissertation Poster

WOU savoured a joyful occasion when two Master...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
May 31, 2022

WOU Student Honoured with Women’s Leadership Award

The WOU community welled up with pride when...

Read More
admin@wou
Posted by admin@wou
May 26, 2022

WOU Alumni: Preschool Educators Receive Lifelong Learning Award

Two graduates from WOU’s Diploma in Early Childhood...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
May 26, 2022

Become a Successful Technologist and Technician with WOU

You can have a faster pathway to becoming...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
May 19, 2022

Unlocking Career Opportunities with DiGiT

The School of Digital Technology (DiGiT) Senior Lecturers...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
May 17, 2022

Develop your Personal Branding for Greater Reach on LinkedIn

You should know your Social Selling Index (SSI)...

Read More
admin@wou
Posted by admin@wou
May 10, 2022

VC: Make Lifelong Connections at University

Making lifelong friendships and lifelong networks are very...

Read More
admin@wou
Posted by admin@wou
May 9, 2022

WOU Donates Computers to Phor Tay High School for Education

WOU donated 10 refurbished desktop computers to Phor...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
May 5, 2022

Making Meaningful Connections: Foundation of Successful Sales

Understanding what is important for your clientele and...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
April 25, 2022

Increase your market value as a Certified Project Manager

Employers around the world are looking for certified...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
April 14, 2022

Achieve Your Web Developer Dream with a WOU Degree

Web development is an important facet of any...

Read More
We use cookies to give you the best experience.