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Office of Mental Health

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Disaster Mental Health Planning and Response Resources
Psychological First Aid Education Initiative, 2007

Psychological First Aid (PFA) serves today as one of the basic tools used by Crisis Counselors responding to an emergency or disaster. This simple and straight forward supportive intervention is recognized at the local, state, and national levels as an effective way to help those impacted by disaster understand and cope with their reactions. PFA does not require previous training or education as a behavioral health practitioner. It can be used by every lay person as well.

Psychological First Aid and the brochures below can help individuals and communities build emotional resilience and well-being in the face of tragic events. Providing this information before disaster strikes or shortly thereafter may reduce the need for more intensive crisis counseling by helping individual's put their emotional responses in context and understand that many of these reactions are time-limited. While PFA will never totally eliminate the need for more intensive mental health intervention for some people, it will likely alleviate the emotional suffering of the vast majority who find themselves affected by disasters and other tragic emergencies.

The six attached brochures have been developed for OMH and DOH by staff at the University of Rochester Medical Center. It is our goal to disseminate them widely throughout the community.

Adults Working with Children and Teens HTML PDF
Employers and Supervisors HTML PDF
General Population HTML PDF
Healthcare Professionals HTML PDF
Spiritual Leaders and Practitioners HTML PDF
Teachers and Educators HTML PDF