12. Psychological First Aid Courses

I spent the last two days participating in a National Academy of Medicine disaster workshop, and learned a few things that apply to our recent severe weather event.  With thousands of Miami Valley residents impacted by the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, an epidemic of mental illness is likely to emerge soon.

Illnesses such as depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD may soon emerge in the affected areas.  Psychologists estimate that 30 to 40% of the population and 10 to 20% of the responders may be involved There is something simple that ARES members can do to assist the mental health community in addressing these problems.  We can take Psychological First Aid (PFA) training.

Your American Red Cross disaster staff in Dayton or Troy may be able to arrange an instructor led Red Cross PFA course.  This Disaster Services class should be offered at no cost.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has an online 6 hour PFA course.  It is free at present, but that may change at any time.  Go to https://learn.nctsn.org/ , then click the Psychological First Aid link.

The World Health Organization offers a free PFA guide for download.  Go to Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers

The Veterans Administration offers a similar guide at https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/psych_firstaid_manual.asp

Submitted by Michael Schulsinger, N8QHV.