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Course of the Week

Psychological First Aid

Psychological First Aid
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The course of the week is Psychological First Aid taught by Johns Hopkins.

@Claire and I are hoping that together we can help people find great courses through the community. Every week, we're featuring a course and inviting people who have taken the course to share their course highlights and how they're using what they learned.

Have you taken Psychological First Aid?

What did you like about it?

What were the key skills and knowledge you gained from the course?

Who would benefit from taking this course?

What have you done with what you learned?

6 replies

Hi laura and claire,
I would like first to appreciate your initiative of helping people to find amazing courses. Psychological first aid is one of the 50th courses i finished. I am a medical student and a keen learner and this course really fulfilled my enthusiasm about learning and really was a great experience especially for me as a medical student. As a future doctor, i will always face patients who are devastated and face very difficult time so learning the skills the course make sure you get is very helpful. What i liked most about the course is the simplicity and the shortness of the videos. Really you get what you need in very brief still useful way. You also see a live application to what you learned. The key skill i learned is how to assure other people especially those who face very difficult time. I hope to be an oncologist, so i expect to use these skills when facing the patients. I think doctors will get the utmost of the course, but i think the knowledge in the course is a must for all of the people as we most likely will see people who face a hard time. I try my best to use the knowledge to assure my family and the people who may ask me for an advice as a medical student. I always make sure to understand their pain and reassure them. My mother has SLE, so i was grateful that i took the course to better assure her. I hope this reply will help others make their mind.
This course taught and trained me in applying psychological first aid to those people who are affected by very stressful situations.

These are folks involved in everyday emergencies. Statistically frequent critical incidents that affect the person who suffers them very intensely. We have all been or heard about traffic accidents, hospitalizations, victims of aggression, traumatic or sudden death of a family member, and many others.

In our communities they could be seen as quite infrequent events that affect many people at the same time or a whole community and that greatly exceed what happens in it. Some examples would be a train or place accident, a natural catastrophe or an attack, are community and / or massive emergencies.

The course provided skills to apply psychological first aid to all the people, families and communities that need them, after a daily or community stressful event. Another very important objective of this course was to be able to prepare different scenarios so that they can be used as a place of reception for affected people and family members and thus be able to apply psychological first aid. Being able to apply protocols of deactivation and recovery during the management of an emergency.

I really enjoyed the course, the delivery platform, and the knowledge both imparted by the professor as well as by the ones that took the course with me.

Warm regards,
E. Cruz
Userlevel 1
What did you like about it?
Highly sceptical in light of ongoing lack of widely accepted (i.e. not confined to those with vested interests) evidence for current models and approaches to psychiatric therapy, I am highly impressed and wholeheartedly support PFA. It has powerful evidence of efficacy based on max x3 interventions due to focus on helping traumatised tap their own inner sources of resilience rather than fostering dependency (and tranference) in long term therapy.
The teaching was vivid and immediate including memorable insights into how not to do it!

What were the key skills and knowledge you gained from the course?
I have in numerous situations remembered this approach and supported others not by attempting answers but prompting the bigger perspective and resolve in a variety of situations with the challenged and 'down's.

Who would benefit from taking this course?
Anyone who cares: to gain insight into self and others and the powerful force for dealing with life's challenges that is resilience.


What have you done with what you learned?
I became a Mentor for the course and apply it in my role as project management capability lead in a 15000 strong organisation: so many interventions for the better path ahead!
Userlevel 7
Badge +12
Hi laura and claire,
I would like first to appreciate your initiative of helping people to find amazing courses. Psychological first aid is one of the 50th courses i finished. I am a medical student and a keen learner and this course really fulfilled my enthusiasm about learning and really was a great experience especially for me as a medical student. As a future doctor, i will always face patients who are devastated and face very difficult time so learning the skills the course make sure you get is very helpful. What i liked most about the course is the simplicity and the shortness of the videos. Really you get what you need in very brief still useful way. You also see a live application to what you learned. The key skill i learned is how to assure other people especially those who face very difficult time. I hope to be an oncologist, so i expect to use these skills when facing the patients. I think doctors will get the utmost of the course, but i think the knowledge in the course is a must for all of the people as we most likely will see people who face a hard time. I try my best to use the knowledge to assure my family and the people who may ask me for an advice as a medical student. I always make sure to understand their pain and reassure them. My mother has SLE, so i was grateful that i took the course to better assure her. I hope this reply will help others make their mind.


Hi @Mostafa Elsayed! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with this course! Congratulations on completing 50 courses – that's an incredible accomplishment! It sounds like your future patients will be lucky to have you as a doctor. I agree with you that it's so important for doctors (and others in the medical profession) to understand and care about psychological health – not just physical health. I'm so glad you found Psychological First Aid useful.
Userlevel 7
Badge +12
This course taught and trained me in applying psychological first aid to those people who are affected by very stressful situations.

These are folks involved in everyday emergencies. Statistically frequent critical incidents that affect the person who suffers them very intensely. We have all been or heard about traffic accidents, hospitalizations, victims of aggression, traumatic or sudden death of a family member, and many others.

In our communities they could be seen as quite infrequent events that affect many people at the same time or a whole community and that greatly exceed what happens in it. Some examples would be a train or place accident, a natural catastrophe or an attack, are community and / or massive emergencies.

The course provided skills to apply psychological first aid to all the people, families and communities that need them, after a daily or community stressful event. Another very important objective of this course was to be able to prepare different scenarios so that they can be used as a place of reception for affected people and family members and thus be able to apply psychological first aid. Being able to apply protocols of deactivation and recovery during the management of an emergency.

I really enjoyed the course, the delivery platform, and the knowledge both imparted by the professor as well as by the ones that took the course with me.

Warm regards,
E. Cruz


Hi @E. Cruz. Thank you for this insight! I really like your observation that both individuals and communities can experience very stressful events. A large-scale catastrophe or emergency can feel overwhelming/scary to think about, but I suspect this is why a course like Psychological First Aid is important – because it helps people feel more equipped to deal with such an event.
Userlevel 7
Badge +12
What did you like about it?
Highly sceptical in light of ongoing lack of widely accepted (i.e. not confined to those with vested interests) evidence for current models and approaches to psychiatric therapy, I am highly impressed and wholeheartedly support PFA. It has powerful evidence of efficacy based on max x3 interventions due to focus on helping traumatised tap their own inner sources of resilience rather than fostering dependency (and tranference) in long term therapy.
The teaching was vivid and immediate including memorable insights into how not to do it!

What were the key skills and knowledge you gained from the course?
I have in numerous situations remembered this approach and supported others not by attempting answers but prompting the bigger perspective and resolve in a variety of situations with the challenged and 'down's.


Hi @Gomackay. Thank you for sharing your perspective on this course – it's a powerful testament that you were skeptical going into it but were impressed with the teachings! I love that the course helps people to "tap their own inner sources of resilience." As humans we are so eager to try to fix situations for others who are suffering, but sometimes that's not possible or helpful.

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