Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide, 2nd Edition


Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide, 2nd Edition


This guide is an evidence-informed modular approach for assisting people in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism, to reduce initial distress and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning. It is for use by mental health specialists, including first responders, incident command systems, primary and emergency health care providers, school crisis response teams, faith-based organizations, disaster relief organizations, Community Emergency Response Teams, Medical Reserve Corps, and the Citizens Corps in diverse settings.

This guide includes the following sections:

  • Introduction and overview
  • Preparing to deliver psychological first aid
  • Core actions
    • Contact and engagement
    • Safety and comfort
    • Stabilization
    • Information gathering: Current needs and concerns
    • Practical assistance
    • Connection with social supports
    • Information on coping
    • Linkage with collaborative services
  • Appendixes
    • Overview of psychological first aid
    • Service delivery sites and settings
    • Psychological first aid: Provider care
    • Provider worksheets
    • Handouts for survivors (for adults, adolescents, parents/caregivers, and children)


National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Funding Sources:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (U.S.); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Release Date: 2006
Review Date: 2008
Recent Summary: March 2008
Original Summary: September 2007
Last Updated: 12/19/12

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