Mental Health First Aid  (PFA)

Here in this post, we are providing ‘Mental Health First Aid  (PFA)’. You can discuss your concerns about mental health in our community, and we will provide you with tips and solutions in a short time. Keep visiting Mental Health.

Introduction

Psychological first aid is an interposition aimed to incubate safety, sustain the mental health of people affected by disasters and connect people to the resources. Psychological -first aid is provided by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals to the affected individuals or clients. It addresses the basic needs of people, helps people to feel comfortable and calm, and protects people from prey to severe mental disorders just after any distressful event or crisis.

Everyone passes through a crisis once in their life, so people always need psychological aid. To them, psychological aid is provided sometimes alone especially when they are dealing with life-threatening injuries or not about to continue their normal life functioning. When providing psychological aid to clients it is the duty of health care professionals to respect the safety, dignity, and rights of people and they must be aware of the emergency response measures and practice self and team care.

Mental Health First Aid (PFA)
Mental Health First Aid (PFA)

Background

The term PFA was first used in the 1940s and is used till now to provide intervention to people affected by disasters. Crises and stressful events.
Now different countries like Europe, Iraq, West Bank, Gaza, Sudan, Srilanka, Japan, and West Africa are encouraging their nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, humanitarian aid workers, firemen, police, medical personnel, national defense force, and international school counselors so that can help people in an emergency.

Purpose

The purpose of psychological first aid is to evaluate the distress instantly and not provide therapy on-site. It is provided to the people in just aftermath of the crisis.

Myths about PFA

There are the following myths about PFA

PFA is not about psychological debriefing.

Many people thought that PFA is about what professionals can do or professional counseling, but actually, it is not.

Psychologists or other professionals cannot ask people to tell them their stories or give details about how they feel or what happened because it will lead to traumatic disorder and the client and the individual can feel panic.

Ethical guidelines

It includes the following :

  • Always be honest and trustful Do not utilize your relationship with the client to act as a helper.
  • Respect the person’s ability of decision-making.
  • Do not ask The client for any personal favor.
  • If they refuse to take help, make sure that they can also take help in the future.
  • Do not interrupt the client and force the client to take help.
  • Respect the client’s confidentiality and privacy. Do not share the client’s case history with anyone without his/her permission.
  • Behave according to the person’s race, culture, age, and ethnicity.
  • Do not be judgmental about the client’s overt or covert appearance.
  • Select a calm atmosphere to talk. Avoids distractions.
  • Nod your head and stay attentive. Do not pressurize them to share their story.
  • Be patient and stay calm. Do not be aggressive if people show any resistance.

The psychological first aid action procedure

Psychological first aid action procedure includes following

  • Prepare
  • (Take the information about the crisis or disaster, allocated resources, security, and safety measures.)
  • Link/collaborate
  • Observe safety measures, and observe which people need urgent help.
  • Observe people with serious mental distress. Listen to people who need support, ask for their needs and concerns, and help them feel calm and comfortable.
  • Help people to address basic needs, help them to learn coping skills, provide the information and help them to connect with their family, social circle, and loved ones.

Psychological first aid in Pakistan

In Pakistan researchers and health care professionals are working on psychological first aid and different people are working on it, such as saving 9, a center for training, development, and providing emergency psychological first aid. This center conducts emergency management training programs with society and plans to provide first aid events in different cities across Pakistan. They are focusing on mental health care and nurturing of students in schools to overcome neglect caused by decades in health and education in Pakistan. Other organizations are also working for providing prevention and intervention in crises and disasters situation.

Special Thanks

We are especially Thankful to NIMRA FAROOQ, who prepare this information and share it with us. All credit goes to Nimra Farooq. 

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