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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). The principles and actions of Psychological First Aid meet four basic standards. 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. 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.
While you are grateful that you are not experiencing bereavement and that no one was badly injured, the plain truth is that you have nowhere to live and, as you find out in the ensuing days, nowhere to work.
Disasters, both natural and human-made, can strike at any time; sometimes we get a warning, and sometimes we do not.
It is estimated that being involved in a significant traumatic event which causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will mean a lifetime of that event continuing to be prevalent for 60.7% of men and 51.2% of women (Kessler, Sonnega, Bromet, Hughes, & Nelson, 1995).
With the advent of disaster mental health and the identification of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), all that changed.
Psychological First Aid was developed as a principal tool to use after an emergency, disaster, or other disruptive event.