New Date for Disaster Management Unit Meeting

Sunday 23rd October 2016 is the date for the Disaster Management Unit meeting.

Everyone we are getting a fanatic offer from the Diego Martin Regional Cooperation Disaster Management Unit, for training in Psychological First Aid

It open for a limited number of people.

Therefore it will be on first come first person basis. If you are interested please indicate. By emailing me or filling out the forms that are on Diocesan Web page. ( you should of filled it out already)

Preference will be given to persons in the north-west region. However arrangements will be made for other regions to get partake in the training. I have left a definition of what   Psychological First Aid

This is a definition from the American Institute of Professional Councilors (AIPC ):

Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed modular means of providing psychosocial support to individuals and families immediately after a disaster, terrorist or traumatic event, or other emergency. It consists of a set of helping actions which are systematically undertaken in order to reduce initial post-trauma distress and to support short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping. Based on the principle of “do no harm”, it is provided increasingly by members of the general population, although mental health professionals are almost always involved as well (Ruzek et al, 2007; Brymer et al, 2006; The Australian Psychological Society and the Australian Red Cross, 2010).

It is common sense. Psychological First Aid includes basic common sense principles to promote normal recovery. These are actions to help people feel safe and calm, connected to others, hopeful, and empowered to help themselves, with access to physical resources, and emotional and social support. Psychological First Aid helps survivors to meet current needs; it promotes flexible coping and encourages adjustment. It is called “first aid” because it is the first thing that helpers might think to offer disaster-affected people, and it commonly occurs in the first days, weeks, and months after a disaster or other emergency (Australian Red Cross and Australian Psychological Society, 2010).

It meets basic standards. The principles and actions of Psychological First Aid meet four basic standards. They are:

§  Consistent with research evidence on risk and resilience following trauma (that is, evidence-informed)

§  Applicable and practical in field settings (as opposed to a medical/health professional office somewhere)

§  Appropriate for developmental levels across the lifespan (there are different techniques available for supporting children, adolescents, and adults)

§  Culturally informed and delivered in a flexible manner, as it is often offered by members of the same community as the supported individuals (Ruzek et al, 2007; Brymer et al, 2006).

It is community-based. Psychological First Aid is community-based (as opposed to occurring within the medical profession), and the programs are usually developed in consultation with the targeted community, with support being provided by members of that community. This tends to make it culturally responsive. It is low-cost, with the chief expenses being those of developing the training and public education materials. Being culturally sensitive and low-cost makes it sustainable. Because Psychological First Aid programs incorporate the traditional coping strategies of the community for which they are developed, they tend to build on the strengths of the culture.

The programs build the response capacity of people who, in a disaster, will be the family and friends of the survivors; appropriately, they will be the ones to whom survivors and those affected most often turn for psychological support. Psychological First Aid can be implemented by other than mental health professionals. The core skill is active listening, the skill at the heart of most therapeutic techniques, but also the first skill learned in any interpersonal or communication skills program. Participants in Psychological First Aid programs report that gaining listening skill improves not only their psychological supporting, but also their personal and professional relationships and communication (Jacobs, 2007).

It is designed for field delivery. Psychological First Aid can be found anywhere that survivors of trauma can be found: shelters, schools, staging areas, hospitals, and other community settings. It is designed for simple and practical administration in field settings (Ruzek et al, 2007), and even mental health practitioners involved in it acknowledge that offering support in the field is vastly different from doing it in their “regular” practice.

Please ensure that your members receive this information, this training may save a life of a love one, you can make the difference get involved. Get activated. Finally the question is What would Jesus Do?

Marcus.A.Clarke BSC (Hons) OSHE

Coordinator Disaster Managment Unit

Anglican Diocese Trinidad & Tobago

Mobile: 868- 762-6769