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Psychological First Aid Resources (WHO)

Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers

This guide covers psychological first aid which involves humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings suffering serious crisis events.  It is a framework to support people in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities.  Endorsed by many international agencies, the guide reflects the emerging science and international consensus on how to support people in the immediate aftermath of extremely stressful events.  Available in various languages on WHO website.


Psychological First Aid: Facilitator's Manual for Orienting Field Workers

This facilitator’s guide is designed to orient helpers to offer psychological first aid (PFA) to people following a serious crisis event. PFA involves humane, supportive and practical assistance for people who are distressed, in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities.


Psychological First Aid During Ebola Virus Disease Outbreaks

This guide is an adaptation of the Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers adapted to better respond to the challenges of Ebola virus disease outbreaks.

Ebola poses specific problems for affected people (e.g., stigmatization, isolation, fear, and possible abandonment), their caregivers and responders (e.g., safety, access to updated information).

Facilitation Manual: Psychological First Aid During Ebola Virus Disease Outbreaks

This manual is designed to orient helpers to offer psychological first aid (PFA) to people affected by an Ebola outbreak.  This facilitator’s manual is to be used together with the guide Psychological first aid during Ebola virus disease outbreaks (World Health Organization, CBM, World Vision International, UNICEF, September 2014).


Psychological First Aid 5-Year Retrospective

The PFA 5-Year Retrospective was initiated in response to widespread use of PFA by IASC MHPSS RG members and many others since its launch. It aimed to elucidate how PFA has been understood, adapted and applied by organizations in diverse emergency contexts; and to provide practical lessons learned for applications in future emergencies and by various stakeholders. It has benefitted from contributions by stakeholders through an online survey, interviews and case contributions. The findings are detailed in this report coordinated and funded by Church of Sweden, authored by Leslie Snider of Peace in Practice, with advisory support of World Vision International.  The report collates recommendations from stakeholders in improving materials, orientation and capacity building, quality assurance and reducing misapplications of PFA, as well as mainstreaming and building communities of practice. 

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Caring for Volunteers (IFRC, Psychosocial Reference Centre)

Caring for Volunteers: A Psychosocial Support Toolkit

All major disasters and dramatic events, where Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers were asked to provide psychosocial support to survivors and family members. Some National Societies were well prepared; others realized they were not. Occasions like these caused every society to reflect on how they could improve their preparedness.


Lay Counseling (IFRC, Psychosocial Reference Centre)

Lay Counseling:  A Trainer's Manual

Social and humanitarian organisations provide support to people affected by crisis events all across the globe every day. They respond to human suffering in many different ways, assisting people affected by disasters or other critical events, people suffering from loss or serious illnesses, and people living in isolation or being stigmatised.

IFRC Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Psychosocial Interventions (IFRC, Psychosocial Reference Centre)

IFRC M&E Guidance Note and Overview; Indicator Guide; Toolbox

Monitoring and evaluation is one of the most difficult aspects of psychosocial support programming. The IFRC Psychosocial Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework was developed in order to identify and ensure best practices throughout IFRC global psychosocial programmes, contributing to quality interventions and strengthening the advocacy for psychosocial support programmes.

Recent Publications

¨      Chiumento A, Rahman A, Snider L, Firth L, Tol W.  Ethical standards for mental health and psychosocial support         research in emergencies: Review of literature and current debates.  Globalization and Health (2017) 13:8.  DOI           10.1186/s12992-017-0231-y

¨      Schafer A, Snider L, Sammour R. A reflective learning report about the implementation and impacts of                         Psychological First Aid (PFA) in Gaza. Disaster Health 3:1-13, 2016.

¨      Snider L and Valle C.  Reaching out a helping hand during Ebola:  Adaptation of the Psychological First Aid                Guide.  Intervention Journal, Vol. 13 (1): 85-87, 2015.

¨      Eriksson CB, Holland JM, Currier JM, Snider LM, Ager AK Kaiser ER, & Simon WS.   Trajectories of spiritual                  change among expatriate humanitarian aid workers: A prospective longitudinal study.  Journal of the                        Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Feb 2015.

¨      Eriksson C, Lopes Cardozo B, Foy D, Sabin M, Ager A, Snider L, et al.  Predeployment mental health and trauma        exposure of expatriate humanitarian aid workers: Risk and resilience factors. Traumatology, Vol. 19, No. 1: 41-48,        Mar 2013.

¨      Juen B, Siller H, Lindenthal M, Snider L, Nielsen M, Muff ML, Wiedemann N.  Lay Counselling in Humanitarian              Organisations: A field report on the development of training materials for lay counsellors in Europe.                          Intervention Journal, Vol. 11 (1):  77-88, Mar 2013. 

Reports and Briefs

¨      Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers, Translation and Adaptation Guidance (2018) Leslie Snider and Alison Schafer. (upon request)

¨      Advisory Group Member:  Bangpan, M., Dickson, K., Felix, L. and Chiumento, A. (2017). The impact of mental              health and psychosocial support interventions on people affected by humanitarian emergencies: A systematic          review. Humanitarian Evidence Programme. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

¨      Snider, L.  “Psychological First Aid” In Dignity in Mental Health: Psychological and Mental Health First Aid for            All.  Report of the World Federation for Mental Health for World Mental Health Day, 10th Oct 2016. 

¨      “Growing up in Conflict: Securing children’s mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in the context of                    escalating conflicts around the world”. Advocacy briefing paper for World Humanitarian Summit from the Hague        symposium (May 2015) on the impact of armed conflict on children. UNICEF, July 2015.

Book Chapters

Snider, L, Chehil, S, Walker, D. “Psychological First Aid.” Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Disaster Situations in the Caribbean: Core Knowledge for Emergency Preparedness and Response.  Pan American Health Organization/WHO:  Washington, D.C. (2012). 

Snider, L, Hoffman, Y, Littrell, M, Fry, W and Thornburgh, M.  “Supporting Children Post-Katrina:  Reflections on Psychosocial Interventions and Guiding Principles.”  Meeting the Needs of Children, Families and Communities Post-Disaster:  Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina and Its Aftermath.  (Editors:  R. Kilmer, V. Gil-Rivas, R. Tedeschi and L. Calhoun.)  American Psychiatric Association Press:  Washington, D.C. (2009).