World Mental Health Day (10th October) is focusing this year on how non-professionals can support a person who is distressed at the scene of an accident or disaster. The World Health Organisation calls this ‘Psychological First Aid’ (PFA).
Knowing what to say if and how to refer someone to a professional, can help us support others who are unhappy or distressed.
- Finding out what a person’s needs and concerns are
- Listening to a person and not putting pressure on them to talk
- Comforting a person and making them feel calm
- Helping them to get support by referring to a service such as BSL Healthy Minds, SignHealth’s Deaf Therapy Service
- Protecting people from harming themselves
It’s important to understand that Psychological First Aid does not replace getting help from a qualified psychological therapy service, such as BSL Healthy Minds.
If you are not a qualified therapists you should not try to act as a counsellor. You also should not pressure someone to tell their story or analyze what has happened to them.
However, by following the guidelines above, you can help by providing valuable support to a person who is in distress.
For more information go to BSL Healthy Minds.
Picture credit: www.directline.com