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Training: Psychological First Aid for Young Peers

The IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support and Danish Red Cross Youth have the pleasure of announcing a blended learning training in Psychological First Aid for Young Peers.

Pre-training meeting: February 21 1:00 to 2:30 pm CEST

Training: 2, 3 and 4 March 2022 in Copenhagen from 9 am to 4:30 pm.  

A three-day intensive training of trainers in psychological first aid for young peers in Psychological First Aid for young peers. The training builds on blended learning where trainees study assigned materials, participate in a pre-training meeting, study ahead of the face-to-face training and participate in the three days of training. The course is open for Red Cross Red Crescent youth trainers with MHPSS knowledge who are familiar with PFA and work with youth in community-based projects and programmes.

Many young people ask themselves: How can I support a peer or a friend and what should I do and say? Psychological first aid can help them know how to support their peers. In the training young peers learn to be a compassionate helper, to strengthens their skills in being a good listener, and in offering practical help without encouraging dependency. It empowers youth to have the needed skills and knowledge to support their peers.  It also raises awareness about helpers needing to care for themselves.

Psychological first aid (PFA) is a first entry point to assist people in acute distress. It is a simple, yet powerful way of supporting someone, to feel calm, safe, and supported, and to link to more specialised support if needed. Learning PFA skills and understanding reactions to crises empowers the helper not only to help others, but also to apply the same skills to their own crises. Everyone can learn PFA skills, including staff and volunteers who are responding to humanitarian needs as well as at-risk communities themselves.

Psychological first aid is a structured way of supporting someone who needs help. It involves caring about a person in difficulty, paying attention to their reactions and how they feel, listening to them, and if needed, providing practical help. Psychological first aid is also about accompaniment; it helps make a young person in difficulty feel that there is someone who can support them.

The training methodology is based on blended learning where participants study before the training. The training is problem-based with practical exercises, group work, role plays, and case studies. Participants must be fluent in English to be able to engage actively in the course.

The course prepares participants to:

  • Use participatory facilitation skills
  • Give safe and useful feedback to participants
  • Plan, train and evaluate training of young peers in PFA

Subjects covered in the training are:

  • A systematic evaluation of trainees
  • Refined listening skills
  • Defining who a peer is
  • Looking at issues affecting young people
  • The action principles of ‘Look, Listen and Link’
  • Providing PFA to a peer
  • Difficulties in providing PFA as a young peer
  • Making referrals
  • Self-care
  • Online training modalities in PFA

Certificates will be issued if a participant has been present 80% of the time, demonstrated understanding of the topics, been active throughout the training, and has taken on the different other assignments as instructed.

Dates, deadlines, and other important information

The training is free of charge, and participants must cover their own costs apart from tea, coffee, and snacks provided during breaks and lunch served daily.

Online pre-training meeting 21 February; please check https://www.timeanddate.com/ to ensure the timings in your zone. Face to face training on 2, 3 and 4 March from 9 to 4:30 and 24 CEST at Danish Red Cross Headquarters, Blegdamsvej 27, 2100 Ø, Copenhagen.

Applications are submitted to the online system here.

Applications close midnight CEST on 14 February and applicants be notified shortly after. Please get in touch with the PS Centre well ahead of time, should you need a visa to visit Denmark.

Required pre-training study materials:

A Guide to Psychological First Aid
Psychological First Aid for Young Peers: A training manual
Psychological First Aid - Basic PFA

Suggested pre-training study materials:

Online Psychological First Aid Training for COVID-19
Online Psychological First Aid Training for COVID-19 – additional module: Remote supportive communication
Online Psychological First Aid training for COVID-19 – additional module: PFA for children
Online Psychological First Aid Training for COVID-19 – additional module: Caring for staff and volunteers