New Guide Shows How to Provide Psychological First Aid After Terrorist Acts or Natural Disasters
During 2006 and 2007, staff at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD designed, printed and distributed the second edition of the Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide.
The guide provides a rigorous, systematic, evidence-informed protocol for the provision of psychological assistance to children, adults and families in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist incident and a natural disaster. Project staff also produced a PDF version of the document, available on CD and online, after sign-up.
The National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, based at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Duke University, seeks to improve access to care, treatment and services for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events.
The national center and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration developed and maintain the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Network and provide technical assistance to grantees within the network, oversee resource development and dissemination, and coordinate national education and training efforts.
The National Center for PTSD, based within the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, works to advance the science and promote understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Project staff from the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress collaborated with staff from the National Center for PTSD to design, print and distribute the second edition of the Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide. Working under a subcontract, the National Center for PTSD contributed strategies for assisting adults with PTSD, while the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress focused on issues concerning children and traumatic stress.
The second edition—4,000 copies of which were printed—includes new sections on:
To inform the revision, project staff used a Web-based survey and feedback from hundreds of individuals who used the earlier version of the guide.
- Supporting survivors whose loved ones are missing.
- Helping those who have suffered the death of a loved one.
- Helping parents talk to children about death and attending funerals.
- Working with the elderly and disabled, as well as very young children.
- Project staff also produced a PDF version of the document, available on CD-ROM and online.
- Project staff distributed almost all of its 4,000 printed copies of the guide, along with 7,500 CD-ROM copies, to organizations working to address post-traumatic stress in children, including:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Technical Assistance Center.
- National Association of the State Mental Health Program Directors.
- State mental health agencies.
- State disaster mental health coordinators.
- Other agencies and organizations across the Gulf Coast and nationally.
In addition, there have been over 25,000 downloads of the online version of the guide from the center's Web site as of March 2008.
In addition, on March 31April 1, 2005, project staff used a grant of approximately $35,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to convene a panel to review the guide and make suggestions for final revisions. The panel included researchers, frontline providers and survivors of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Under a second grant (Grant ID# 064764), the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior Center for Community Health created and disseminated a Spanish version of the guide.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through an unsolicited grant of $15,120 to the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress.
After the Grant
Project staff contracted with a translator to create a Spanish version of the guide, and completed the translation, editing, layout, design and printing of the Spanish Translation of the Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide, 2nd Edition. They were able to print a total of 700 copies of the Field Operations Guide, along with 1,000 CD's containing PDF versions of the Field Operations Guide and accompanying Handouts (Grant ID# 064764).
The National Center for Child Traumatic Stress provided in-kind support for office space and computer equipment.
According to project staff, the English version of the PFA Guide is "a new model for delivering acute assistance to children and families in the acute aftermath of disaster, and has informed the work of many organizations that coordinate and participate in disaster planning and response. The addition of the Spanish translation will significantly enhance our national capacity to respond to the needs of children and families after disaster and terrorism."
GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION
Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide
University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (Los Angeles, CA)
Dates: November 2006 to September 2007
Robert S. Pynoos, M.D.
Report prepared by: Robert Crum
Reviewed by: Marian Bass
Program Officer: Andrew D. Hyman