Psychologist: Mental First Aid Should Be Incorporated Into Resilience Plans

By Carlton Purvis

Psychological first aid stations are essentially a place for that process to begin. They can be set-up offsite at a designated rally point and manned by trained employees of a company’s own staff or local volunteer groups. FEI can also provide companies with trained mental health professionals. After both 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, FEI deployed psychological first aid stations as information hubs for victims and family members.

The sites usually include a medical first aid station, but their main purpose is to provide victims with an area to decompress and give information about the event. Volunteers also try to find out victims immediate needs outside of food, shelter, and first aid—like finding a way to contact family members, for example. The stations are designed to be deployed within 48 hours after an event and to support an area until outside resources are brought in.

The immediate psychological care people receive can help lead to a faster recovery for victims of event and help a company increase it’s overall resilience by increasing the resilience of it’s employees, Marinelli says.

♦ Photo by breahn/Flickr


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