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Psychological First Aid: Agency, School and Community-Based Response to Trauma

Length: Eight hours

(Split into two 4-hour workshops, unless otherwise requested)

Delivery: Live in-person

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed adaptive approach to help people in crisis, feeling anxious, and/or encountering the after-effects of a traumatic event. The goal is to help survivors get the resources they immediately need while increasing their long-term abilities to function and cope.  In redefining what it means to offer “help,” this process helps people help themselves. Principles and techniques of PFA meet four basic standards: (1) consistent with research evidence on risk and resilience following trauma; (2) applicable and practical in field settings; (3) appropriate to developmental level across the lifespan; and (4) culturally informed. PFA was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (www.NCTSN.organd the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (www.ncptsd.va.gov). 


Hanna Center Training

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the identity and ‘role’ of the trauma survivor and PFA interventionist 
  • Understand how to establish a human connection in a non-intrusive, compassionate manner 
  • Understand how to enhance immediate and ongoing safety and provide physical and emotional comfort.  
  • Increase the ability to help calm and orient emotionally overwhelmed/distraught survivors.  
  • Increase the ability to help survivors to articulate immediate needs and concerns and gather additional information as appropriate.  
  • Increase the ability to support resilience, acknowledge coping efforts and strengths, and empower survivors 
  • Understand how to provide information that may help survivors cope with the psychological impact of disasters.  
  • Understand how to facilitate continuity in disaster response efforts by linking the survivor to another member of a disaster response team or to indigenous recovery systems, public-sector services, and organizations. 

Helping you help others

Hanna Institute equips and empowers individuals and organizations with the trauma-informed tools they need to help people in their community.
  • Our bilingual and bicultural trainings place equity at the center of our work.
  • Coursework approved for continuing education credit for a variety of professionals.
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