Welcome to the Basic Psychological First Aid Course.

We are all experiencing a collective crisis globally. The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary event that as individuals we did not prepare for. You may be experiencing an ordinary reaction to an extraordinary event such as COVID-19 but for a few of us, COVID-19 is leading to a more severe reaction. 

Due to COVID-19, many mental health experts warn that we may experience a surge of a pathological reaction. If you are having an ordinary stress reaction, the Basic Psychological First Aid course will teach you how to provide effective psychological support through active or empathetic listening, through the provision of practical assistance such as grounding techniques, or helping identify and link individuals to professional psychosocial and mental health services early on.

This course will provide you with tools and skills based on best practices globally that you can tailor to your lifestyle, family, friends and communities. The course uses evidence-based materials gathered from various publications by the World Health Organization and curated by Dr Naeem Dalal, Psychiatrist Register and Mental Health Expert. 

The psychological first aid model that will be used is based on the World Health Organization Psychological First Aid for Field Workers that follows the principles of look, listen and link. Additionally, 'Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide' from the World Health Organization will be used to help you understand and incorporate practical skills as you cope with adversity and help others.

Insights from the textbooks "John Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid" and "Practical Feasible Tools from Community Based Psychological First Aid" by Gerard A. Jacobs have been referenced.

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Is this course for me?
  • Do you want to understand the basics of psychological first aid?
  • Do you often find yourself helping people in times of distress?
  • Do you want to improve your listening skills?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then this course is tailored for you!

You can make a difference to the well-being of people through how you interact and communicate during a crisis response, even if the interaction is only brief. The information in this course can be used to support anyone during a crisis situation or day to day stressors.

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How will I benefit from this course?

Basic psychological first aid principles with psychosocial skills are at the core of helping others to feel better. On completion of this course you will have learnt how to use psychosocial skills to:

  • look after yourself through self-care
  • help others feel supported through your interactions as a helper

This course has been adapted to better respond to the current psychosocial challenges at an individual and community level.

The course is a guide based on the feedback from experience in the field, the "Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers" (World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation, World Vision International, 2011), coupled with use of psychological first aid in clinical practice.

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How long will it take?
 The course is made up of 8 modules which have been split across 3 weeks. Each week will take 2-3 hours to complete.
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How much does it cost?
 This course is free to study. 
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Will I get a certificate at the end?

To be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement you need to:

  • complete each of the modules
  • participate in the discussion forums
  • score 80% or above in each of the 3 course quizzes

On meeting the above criteria,  you can opt to receive your Certificate of Achievement at a cost of $35. 

Certificates are great to add to your CV or resume when applying for a job, or to reference when applying for further or higher education courses.

The word START and a question mark in a circleHow do I start?
 Scroll to the top of the page and click on the       Join course       button. This will take you through to the course content. You don't need to complete the course in one go - you can always continue later from where you left off.
Data protection and consent

This course was created by Mental Health Expert Dr Naeem Dalal, MD and is administered by First Aid Africa, supported by the Zambia Wellbeing and Mental Health Alliance. 

By joining this course you are consenting to First Aid Africa being given access to your Kaya profile information, including your name and email address, so that they can provide the course. This may require them to contact you. Your data will be anonymised before it is used for any analysis or reporting purposes. If you have any questions about this, please email harrietrichards@firstaidafrica.com