Course provided by Future Learn

Study type: Online

Starts: Anytime

Price: Free


Learn how to give practical and emotional support to individuals using PFA

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is the globally recommended training for supporting people during emergencies and offers guidance on delivering psychosocial care in the immediate aftermath of the emergency event.

On this course, you’ll explore the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what you can do to help people cope.

The course will teach you the key principles of giving psychological first aid in emergencies.

This course has been produced by Public Health England and is based on international guidance from the World Health Organisation, United Nations and partners.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is psychological first aid?

  • How do emergencies impact mental health?

  • The psychological first aid stages: Prepare, Look, Listen, Link

  • Supporting yourself and your colleagues

  • Example scenarios

Anyone can use this approach. The following is what you will need to use PFA:

  • Be a good listener. An important part of PFA is identifying
    what help and support each person requires.

  • Be well informed about the COVID-19 pandemic, so you can
    give people accurate information. It is important that people
    can trust you.

  • Have the ability to encourage active coping by,
    for instance, helping people make decisions about the next
    steps they will take.

  • Encourage and help people to connect with their loved ones,
    or community and spiritual supports. Be aware of people’s
    cultural preferences and needs, and adopt a non-judgemental

  • Know how to look after their own wellbeing and access
    support through friends, family, supervision or managers.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at frontline or essential workers and
volunteers dealing with the public during the COVID-19
pandemic. You do not have to be a specialist to deliver
PFA. Many people in helping roles will already be delivering
PFA without realising it. Those who may benefit from this
training include: health and social care staff, first
responders e.g. police, ambulance, firefighters, frontline
public-sector staff e.g. working in housing and employment
services, essential workers e.g. those working in food
delivery, funeral care, sanitation, community leaders and
groups, volunteers, supervisors and managers supporting
staff or volunteers. Those working with children and young people may benefit from more specific training, such as MindEd

Who developed the course?

Public Health England

We exist to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. We do this through world-leading research, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and providing specialist public health services.