Topic outline

  • Introduction

    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 3-week course, you’ll explore the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what you can do to help people cope. It will require around 1 hour per week of learning.

    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?

      The topics you will cover include...

      • 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

      • Who is this 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.

        Those who may benefit from this training include health and social care staff, first responders, frontline public-sector staff, essential workers, volunteers, supervisors and managers supporting staff or volunteers.

        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 approach.

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

        • What will you achieve?

          By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

          • Demonstrate an understanding of what Psychological First Aid is
          • Identify for whom it is suited and how to help them
          • Identify how to better support yourself and peers in such crises
          • Engage with further reading into psychosocial support during emergencies.

          You will also receive a FREE digital certificate once you have completed 90% of the course materials and achieved 70% or more in the final quiz. 

          • Accessing the course

            To access the course please visit:

            Note: You will have to create a FREE account to access the course.