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Psychological First Aid

2 Days | Red Cross Certification

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Why Psychological First Aid?


Stress is at an all time high.  Individuals are suffering from burnout and suicidal thoughts (and actions).  It seems that disasters, crisis and trauma are more common every day.

Psychological First Aid is now the first, and most favoured, early intervention approach. It has been broadly endorsed by disaster mental health experts in reports and in peer-reviewed disaster behavioural health literature. Psychological First Aid is also consistently recommended in international treatment guidelines for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and as an early intervention for disaster survivors. *

The Canadian Red Cross Psychological First Aid training aims to build resiliency within communities.  It does this by supporting emotional, psychological and social wellbeing through its case based program.  This positive approach is more effective at improving outcomes for individuals as well as those in their care.  

Who can benefit from Psychological First Aid Training?

Anyone who experiences stress or who may be in a position to support someone under stress can benefit from this program.  Some examples could include:

  • Disaster/Emergency Management Personnel

  • Professional Responders - eg Firefighters, Paramedics, Police, etc.

  • Those who professionally care for others - eg Nurses, PSWs, Crisis Workers, DSWs, Teachers, Family Care Givers, etc.

  • Community Groups

  • Indigenous Groups

  • Workplaces

What is Psychological First Aid?

Psychological First Aid is the action of assessing a situation to determine the needs of the individuals who are affected, and implementing a 4 step cycle to connect, protect, and link the involved persons.  These skills can be scaled to fit situations of all types.  

This program uses the latest evidence-based research and case-based learning to address topics such as:

  • Self-Care

  • Personal Protection

  • Loss

  • Trauma

  • Stress

Psychological First Aid can be provided at the time of an incident or in the days, months or even years following.  It is not counselling or professional services and should be seen similarly to the actions of a person rendering First Aid for an illness or injury.  An individual needs assessment determines if the first aider will render care themselves, or connect the ill/injured person with more advanced care.  


It is best delivered by:

  • Lay Providers

  • Professional Disaster Responders

  • Emergency Services Personnel

  • Medical Emergency Teams

  • Teachers

  • Clergy

  • Psychological First Aid-trained Disaster Volunteers

Psychological First Aid training is not a new intervention, and though many trained responders have been exposed to information relating to it, it is now becoming operationalized.  The Canadian Red Cross developed this program under the leadership of the Canadian Council for First Aid Education (CCFAE), including Medical Director Dr. Andrew MacPherson.

These topics are addressed with a positive outlook with the goal of building resiliency, which is more effective at improving outcomes for individuals and others in their care.


Psychological First Aid Course Details

Public / Corporate Psychological First Aid Training:

Cost $200

2 Days (12 hours)

10-20 participants

Included/required Materials:

Psychological First Aid Workbook:

The workbook is a place for learners to capture their thoughts, reflections, and learning as they engage with the program exercises. 

Look, Listen, Link Live cards:

Each card includes the key component fo that particular action within the Look, Listen, Link, Live cycle.  These cards are tactile takeaways that participants can reference in the future.  


* James M. Shultz and David Forbes -


Retreat - Psychological First Aid Training PLUS:

Cost $275-$600 (dependent on location and activities) 

2 Days 

10-30 participants


In this busy world it can be difficult to define what self-care is for you, and how to implement it effectively.


PUSH for Life will be hosting a range of retreats to encourage you to dedicate 2 days away from distraction to develop your self-care plan and to discuss strategies to increase resilience

Retreats vary and may include outdoor experiences, hotel retreats, creative/artistic mini retreats, and cooking/food as self care.


* We welcome the opportunity to facilitate a retreat hosted by your workplace.  For more information please contact us.

FAQs about Psychological First Aid

How is Psychological First Aid different from Mental Health First Aid ?

Psychological First Aid training and Mental Health First Aid training pair together very well.  Visit our blog to see a side by side comparison of the two courses 

Will I receive a certificate ?

Psychological First Aid training is a Canadian Red Cross certification course. Upon successful completion of the course you will receive a 3 year certification.

How long is the Psychological First Aid Course ?

Psychological First Aid is a 2 day (12- 16 hour) program.  It can be scaled to meet the needs of many different groups.

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