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Psychological First Aid

Psychological First Aid: PFA Psychological First Aid

National Resilience Workshop in Saga (2018.1.27)

Workshop implementation report  (Cabinet Secretariat site)

First aid is needed in the heart


Just as you need first aid for injuries, you need first aid for your injured heart. Psychological First Aid (PFA) is humane, supportive, and practical support for people who have been hit by a crisis such as a war-conflict area or a disaster-stricken area.

The Guidelines for Psychological First Aid (PFA) have been published mainly by WHO (World Health Organization) so that people who have experienced stressful events can be assisted even if they are not specialists.



Hyogo Prefecture Mental Care Center "Psychological First Aid Implementation Guide 2nd Edition" Japanese Edition

Information Support Center for Disasters WHO PFA Field Guide

Three principles of PFA implementation 
  • look

  • listen

  • connect

Don't impose support, respect others and listen. Rather than helping you to the end on your own, we will connect the target audience to experts and the community. For that purpose, it is necessary to collect information on the area and cooperate with local governments and local community organizations before providing support. We will collect and cooperate with each other in order to act first for the victims.

The important thing is to "feel the condition of the other person with all five senses."

Rather than looking at the situation and thinking about it, it is the first thing to feel. And we will do it with compassion for the other person and a feeling of being close to them.

4 reasons to recommend PFA


There is concern that there will be a shortage of local government officials and medical professionals in the future large earthquakes that will occur in Japan. Many volunteers are needed in the disaster area, and it is necessary to train people who can carry out PFA. It's great to be able to help people in need, preparing to go to disaster volunteers.

Reason 1: Enable mutual assistance in preparation for future disasters

But that's not all. PFA is also useful on a daily basis. for example,

  • Early care for mentally ill people at work or school

  • Watching over the elderly and children in the community

  • Improving safety and security in public places

  • Support for foreigners and people with disabilities, etc.

Feel the needs of the other person, listen closely, convey useful information, and connect to the people and services you need.

Being able to act according to the principles of PFA has many benefits.

Helping people in need has a positive impact on the PFA practitioners themselves.

The feeling of being useful to someone also has the effect of increasing their self-esteem and vitality. You can increase resilience.

Reason 2: From a person who can be helped to a person who can help

In addition, by implementing PFA within the organization, it is also effective as a communication tool to know each other.

PFA workshops are scenario-based group work.

Even in the same scenario (situation), how you feel, what you hear, and where you connect will differ from person to person.

  • Differences in feelings, perceptions, and imagination of people requiring support

  • Differences in questions asked to people requiring support

  • Differences in variations of actions to be taken

In other words, through scenario work, you can learn how to feel and behave, which is difficult to understand from work alone.

Reason 3: Can be used as a communication tool

In the case of an organization that has a BCP (Business Continuity Plan),

Through mental care, we can review the plan to be feasible from the perspective of the victims.

  • Specific care for affected employees and their families

  • Support for local residents (mutual assistance)

  • Cooperation with local governments for smooth recovery activities

Simulating the state of the mind before the disaster can lead to concrete proactive measures for BCP.

Reason 4: Incorporate mental care into BCP


* Regarding BCP, we also offer "BCP full-scale training".

PFA workshop

We offer workshops where you can experience psychological first aid and acquire practical skills.

(1) Contents

  • What is PFA? -Three principles of PFA-

  • Preparations and precautions for PFA

  • Group work based on scenarios (* Implemented in multiple cases)

  • Group announcement

(2) Time required

  • 3 hours for beginners and experienced users

  • 1 day for disaster volunteers


(3) Number of participants

  • From 8 to 50 people


Click here for applications and inquiries

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