Psychological First Aid: Building Resiliency and Coping Strategies


Psychological first aid participants build the case study.

Psychological first aid participants build the case study.

SOS First Aid and Safety Training is excited to offer Psychological First Aid training to members of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. PFA courses will be provided as early as Spring 2019 at the Chamber’s head office on Kerr St. in Oakville Ontario. SOS is a long-time Chamber member, former Small Business of the Year award winner and Red Cross Training Partner for 15 years. With funding from Bell Let’s Talk, the Canadian Red Cross launches Psychological First Aid as part of its first aid certification and training programming for the workplace and the general public.

People who suffer from high stress levels, burnout, trauma and suicidal thoughts (and actions) are at an all-time high in the workplace, at schools, in indigenous communities and among professional responders. Supporting the emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing of communities is a top priority for SOS First Aid and the Canadian Red Cross.

Who better than the Red Cross to develop a program that supports people suffering from life’s challenges and that promotes first aid for mental health to people in need? The Red Cross has a long-standing history of helping vulnerable people.

The Canadian Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross Movement – the world’s largest disaster preparedness and response network. The humanitarian movement has been helping communities and individuals prepare, respond and recover from disasters since the mid 1800s. Part of its mandate is to help identify physical and emotional risks among vulnerable populations, identify gaps and educate people on how to develop an emergency plan. Helping to develop a plan that supports people suffering emotionally or from mental illness and educating people on how to implement the plan are part of the Psychological First Aid curriculum.

What is Psychological First Aid?

PFA is a framework for action that guides helpers to promote safety and assistance to vulnerable people suffering from various types of stress, trauma, grief and loss. Participants learn and apply the Red Cross Look, Listen, Link, Live support model through case studies.

What is the role of a PFA provider?

  • To ensure people’s basic needs are met (safety, food, water, shelter, etc.)
  • To provide accurate information and dispel rumours and myths
  • To connect those in need to the appropriate supports and resources
  • To promote safety, calm, connectedness, self/community efficacy, and hope.

Who should take Psychological First Aid?

This course is for anyone looking to acquire knowledge and learn techniques to recognize and assist people in crisis after experiencing loss, grief, trauma, and stress. The course is also for people looking to develop a prevention and action plan for building resiliency and supporting mental health issues in the workplace, at home or in the community.

What is the difference between mental health first aid and psychological first aid?

Mental health first aid teaches learners how to help someone experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis, Red Cross Psychological First Aid is a resiliency-building program that teaches participants prevention and coping strategies for dealing with different types of stress resulting from trauma, grief and loss.

For more information, please contact SOS First Aid and Safety Training at [email protected] or 905-844-9813. To register for the program, click here.




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