I decided to drop my PFA notes here from the Disaster Management certification that I'm currently working toward. Because having some background knowledge in PFA can help any of us be more present for people experiencing any form of a crisis!
Defining Psychological First Aid
Providing humane, supportive response to a human being who is suffering and may need support by providing practical care, assessing needs and concerns, helping people to address basic needs, listening, comforting, disseminating facts, sharing support systems, and protecting people from further harm.
Anyone can do this, but it does not constitute professional care. Respect peoples' safety, dignity, and rights at all times.
Be honest and trustworthy, respect rights to make decisions, be aware of and set aside your world views, allow people to refuse help, respect privacy, be appropriate to the person's culture, age and gender.
Impact of a Crisis
How a person reacts to a crisis differs but may include:
Potential factors to consider: severity of event(s), experience with previously distressing events, support from others, physical health status, family history of mental health conditions, cultural background and traditions, age
Bringing Calm to the Mind and Body
Speak with a steady, soft, and calm voice. Maintain eye contact if it is culturally appropriate to do so. Begin to reassure the person in any concern and let them know that you're here to help. Reorient them to safety, periodically. If the person seems to be disassociating or "feeling disconnected/numbed," encourage grounding techniques:
Book: Psychological First Aid by WHO