18. Psychological First Aid

Anyone responding to disasters, and even smaller emergencies, could benefit from a course in Psychological First Aid, of PFA. PFA can help many victims recover from emotional trauma, and identifies other victims who should be referred to mental health professionals for further treatment.

The American Red Cross offers a four hour PFA course from time to time and many Red Cross disaster responders have taken it. If you are not a Red Cross volunteer and would like to have Psychological First Aid training, Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health is offering PFA via Coursera. The Coursera version is six weeks long and requires one to three hours of study per week. The Coursera sessions are free, with an optional Signature Track verified certificate program for a modest fee.

The next Johns Hopkins Psychological First Aid session begins on Monday, May 18th, although you may register after that date and still join the class. To look into PFA or any of over one thousand other Coursera offerings, visit their website at https://www.coursera.org/ .