Psychological First Aid: A Crash Course


The Netherlands Red Cross, Light for the World, the IFRC Psychosocial Centre, and KIT Royal Tropical Institute are piloting a new crash course to encourage others to use psychological first aid (PFA) in crisis settings.

Through scenario-based role play, the course teaches mental health professionals and trained lay people to put PFA into practice and gain valuable experience helping others in need of psychological support. The course – which features game play in both life-sized and board game formats – leverages the organisations’ experience in developing games that promote awareness, capacity strengthening and education related to health care and health systems strengthening.

We the new course was piloted at the 2019 International Conference on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs at KIT Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.

Psychological First Aid: what is it?

PFA provides humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings in the immediate aftermath of serious crisis events – such as conflict or natural disaster. It involves caring about the person in distress, paying attention to their reactions, active listening and giving practical help. It is a way of supporting and connecting someone to the support they need.

Use our PFA Resource Centre

Do you want to learn more about PFA and how to make it inclusive for people with disabilities? Check out the following resources provided by our partners: