Robin Gurwitch

Disseminating Psychological First Aid

Robin Gurwitch (bio) comments on the accessibility of psychological first aid in its many forms.

I think that's probably one of the biggest challenges is how do you learn about psychological first aid, and how do you begin to disseminate it? I think there are many avenues. Right now, the Red Cross has a big movement in developing and communicating psychological first aid through that model. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has its model of psychological first aid, and they've done a very good job disseminating it. And then the Listen, Protect, Connect, Model and Teach series, or LPC series, on psychological first aid for parents and for teachers certainly has been disseminated through the U.S. Department of Education and through other trainings and communities. So I think for anyone that's interested, there are avenues to have it.

I think one of the things that makes psychological first aid a little bit difficult is that people think that, "Well, I'm not mental health, so that shouldn't be — that's not my job, or that's going to be too hard." But I think that is the real beauty of psychological first aid. It is really something that every single one of us should be able to provide because it's just some basic ideas and skills to help support people that are in distress and some information that we all can learn from and learn how to help people bounce back and be more resilient. And so I think once we communicate that, I think people will feel much more comfortable and say, "You know what? That's just common sense. I can do that." And I think that's the beauty of psychological first aid.

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


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