Administer Psychological First Aid Early

Robin Gurwitch (bio) describes the benefits of administering Psychological First Aid as soon as possible.


PFA [psychological first aid] is something that can be delivered immediately after a crisis, and that's the best time for it. And there are several models of psychological first aid. But the thing that ties them all together, that runs across all models, is that immediate help to those that are stressed by the situation.

The beauty of psychological first aid is it can be done at the time of the crisis, so while it's still unfolding, immediately after. So what we know from a research end is that the earlier we provide some support, the better kids will do in the long run. So that makes sense from psychological first aid. If we can begin to support children, begin to provide them with information around their — normalizing some of their reactions, helping them develop and think about coping strategies, making sure they are safe, their basic needs are being met, then what we know is that those children have a greater chance of doing really well and being able to bounce back without having to have intensive mental health services for the rest of their lives. So there's not a point that's too early to provide psychological first aid.

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Excerpted from an interview at CBITS Summit 2012 in Santa Monica, CA.

 

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