Psychological first aid helps the people to improve their mental or physical performance at the time of normal activities. Particularly during the extremely hazardous conditions and in the hostile situations, this type of first aid is of great help.
The psychological first aid is almost as normal and fair as the physical first aid. The natural feelings and understanding attitude is very important to help the injured person. It offers a helping hand and support to the one who is in distress. In fact, the concept of psychological first aid is nothing but to assist the people with emotional crisis resulting from disease, physical injury or undue stress. To deal with the emotional distress is not that easy as it is not visible just like a wound or a broken hand is.
Psychological first aid is something that is most required at the first sign when the person has a lot of distress and a blurred self-concept and self-reliance. The case becomes grave in civilian disasters, such as terrorist attacks, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes etc. Most of the emotional reactions to these situations are temporary. The person can carry on in life with support and encouragement.
Psychological first aid v/s physical first aid
Psychological first aid and physical first aid are actually complementary to each other. The case of a physical injury brings in the possibility of the psychological injury. The physical injury and the circumstances that follow it can actually make a severe emotional crisis that can be probably graver than the physical injury.
Objectives of Psychological First Aid
- Be supportive and help the person in coping with his stress.
- Prevent and necessary control the harmful behavior to him and others.
- Return the person to his or her normal routine after dealing with a stress reaction.
How to give Psychological First Aid
- Take immediate action and be direct and authoritative to help the person in dealing with the crisis situation. The sooner you act, the better are the chances to restore the equilibrium.
- Keep the focus of the interference on an impulsive situation to accept that there is a crisis situation. It helps the person to express the facts of the situation and also his or her feelings.
- Give the most realistic and accurate information about the situation as to what has happened and what are the expected results.
- Do not give delusive assurance to the patient. It is better to be realistic and honest. It is indeed important to give them a sense of hope and expectation that he or she will get over the crisis ultimately.
- Identify the importance of taking action and a final outcome that the person may take.
- Give emotional support to the patient and make a complete group of supporters that may offer support and temporary aid at the time of the crisis.