Compassion in times of crisis

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Psychological First Aid

Just as first aid addresses physical wounds, psychological first aid can address emotional and spiritual wounds. Psychological first aid includes making contact, ensuring safety, communicating, comforting, reassuring and offering support. Trained VCC volunteers provide early psychological first aid at emergency scenes, relief and recovery centres, and in outreach campaigns.

Psychological First Aid is a part of the Critical Incident Stress Foundations’ accredited methods of supporting affected people and communities experiencing trauma.

It is often a short-term action that provides empathy, emotional support, information and referral to specialist services. PFA aims to restore psychological, emotional and spiritual equilibrium so that people can engage in the recovery process. PFA is most effective when implemented in the minutes and hours immediately following the impact point of a disaster.

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