Psychological First Aid: Information on Coping
Psychological First Aid can be defined as, “seeks to address the immediate crisis situation and provide immediate relief, possibly to a wide range of individuals” (p. 20). Psychological first aid comes in handy when the person(s) have experienced trauma and they go into shock and they can get immediate care to start working through the initial shock to re-ground those individuals. The psychologist comes in to work through the crises with that individual(s) so that they feel safe and secure, and that they are supported. As the author stated, “this is the bare bones basics of crisis intervention” (p. 21). In this case, the psychologist starts to work on coping mechanisms with the people/persons. The goal of this intervention is to “provide information about stress reactions and coping to reduce distress and promote adaptive functioning” (James et al, 2017, p. 21). It is very important to understand that finding ways of coping is so important to be able to get the relief from the stress endured and using those skills to help with the pain, discomfort that one is feeling based on the trauma they have experienced.
When discussing the 9/11 terrorist attack around the psychological and physical needs of the survivors, coping strategies couldn’t be more important to use to help manage through the disaster of that day. In Study of Effects on 9/11(2003), the article suggest that in the situation or crisis like this one it was important for the victims to process materials they saw, finding and understanding the meaning behind the attack, and keeping with a sense of control leads to helping them cope with this experience. In this article, it suggested that “participants who felt they understood why the attacks happened and how focused on ways in which their risk is low are less distressed. Because feeling that the attacks are understandable and judging that one’s risk was low are both important correlates of good coping.” Talking out these fears, being able to discuss the feelings associated with this type of trauma, helps put things in perspective for these individuals. People who have sustained trauma around this type of disaster need to know the “why” behind, so they are able to move on to make sense out of what happened. By talking through this with people who are around them, other survivors, and psychologist/mental health team, this is their primary coping strategy to get back a sense of normalcy.
James, R. K., & Gilliland, B. E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (Eighth). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Study on Effects of 9/11 Attacks Charts Impacts, Effective Coping Mechanisms. (2003). Ascribe Higher Education News Service.