Psychological first aid has been recommended by many international and national expert groups, including the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the Sphere Project. Psychological first aid is an alternative to psychological debriefing. In 2009, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mhGAP Guidelines Development Group evaluated the evidence for psychological first aid and psychological debriefing. They concluded that psychological first aid, rather than psychological debriefing, should be offered to people in severe distress after being recently exposed to a traumatic event.
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This guide was developed in order to have widely agreed upon psychological first aid materials for use in low and middle income countries. The information we have given here is a model only. You will need to adapt it appropriately to the local context and the culture of the people you will help.
Treatment, care and rehabilitation
Training, education and capacity building
Humanitarian and conflict health
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Also available in
This resource is also available for download in Step 2 'Build Capacity of General Healthcare Workers' of International Medical Corps’ “Mental Health Integration Toolkit”. The Toolkit aims to increase the understanding of integrated mental health programs in humanitarian settings, and provides valuable guidance for better resource allocation and implementation of the steps and components of Mental Health Integration.