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Government announces free psychological first aid training
Frontline staff and volunteers at the forefront of the national coronavirus response across England will be able to access a new Psychological First Aid (PFA) training course, the Minister for Mental Health Nadine Dorries announced on 15th June.
The course, which has been developed by PHE, will be available to frontline workers and volunteers dealing with the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
The free online course enables responders to develop their skills and confidence in providing key psychological support to people affected by coronavirus, including on issues such as job worries, bereavement or isolation as they carry out their vital work as part of the ongoing coronavirus response.
It will also help to develop understanding of how emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic can affect us all, how to recognise people who may be at increased risk of distress, and how to offer practical and emotional support.
Minister for Mental Health Nadine Dorries said:
“Supporting each other’s mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever during these challenging and uncertain times. Staff and volunteers in many different roles are working tirelessly to provide crucial support at this time and are often a critical touchpoint in identifying those who may be affected.
“This new training course will help to support the incredible work of frontline workers to support those most in need both through the coronavirus outbreak and beyond, equipping them with vital tools to deliver psychological first aid.”
Psychological First Aid is being used worldwide to support those in need of mental and wellbeing support in emergency situations. The World Health Organisation and United Nations are supporting its use in response to coronavirus.
The new course has been developed by PHE with support from NHS England and Health Education England and is being made available to frontline workers across England by social learning platform, Future Learn. The course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and is in 3 parts.
Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at PHE, said:
“Our training course aims to provide frontline staff and volunteers with additional resources on how to take care of their own mental health and wellbeing, how to provide support to those who need it most and advice on how to cope with difficult situations.”
To find out more and access the free training materials visit the Future Learn website.
Updated 3 July 2020