Learn how to support children and young people using psychological first aid

On this free, online 3-week course you will explore the techniques of psychological first aid (PFA), the globally recommended training for supporting people during emergencies. You’ll focus on children and young people’s mental health, and what you can do to help them cope and access the support they need during and after emergencies and crisis situations..

The course has been produced by Public Health England, working with a wide range of experts and organisations. It is based on international guidance from the World Health Organisation, United Nations and partners.

You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience as this introductory course will teach you the key principles of giving PFA to children and young people in crisis situations.

Identify how emergencies like COVID-19 affect children and young people’s mental health

Crises can severely impact mental health and it’s important that people have access to the support they need.

During this course, you’ll explore how emergencies affect mental health and what you can do to help the children, young people, and families you come into contact with.

You’ll learn how to recognise the common signs of distress across different age groups and be able to identify who might be at an increased risk.

PFA will also teach you helpful strategies to determine when people require additional support.

Deliver psychological first aid

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to deliver PFA techniques to support children and young people’s mental health after emergency and crisis situations.

You’ll have the tools to adapt PFA to the needs of particularly vulnerable people and be able to identify the ways to look after yourself and peers.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is Psychological First Aid?
  • How do children and young people respond to emergencies and crisis situations?
  • The PFA stages to supporting people: Prepare, Look, Listen, Link
  • Supporting yourself and your colleagues

The course includes short quizzes to help learners reflect, and prepare them for the final test, based on a scenario to evaluate their knowledge. There are also links to further resources and reading which learners can explore after finishing the course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace.

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