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Psychological First Aid


Psychological First Aid (PFA) aims to offer peer-to-peer support to help people cope with an immediate trauma or crisis – PFA has been extensively used by the Armed Forces globally.

The basic principle of PFA is that, in the immediate aftermath of the traumatic event, support from a trained compassionate individual may aid in long-term recovery. PFA is not focused on any mental health diagnosis and works to prevent change from occurring.

Our psychological first aiders are NHS and Care staff within the local network who have undergone special training to provide support.

How can I access support?

Speak to your line manager in the first instance. They can refer you to the service.

Becoming a PFA

As a Psychological First Aider, you will be contactable during your standard working hours to offer support to colleagues. The training provides the skills and techniques for you to carry out the role of peer supporter, offering advice and guidance for colleagues in distress.

You would be expected to take calls as required during your working hours from those who have been referred for psychological support, to speak with peers from health and scocial care across Birmingham and Solihull and offer them advice in coping. 

More than 270 employees across the ICS (including social care) have been trained in Psychological First Aid since its launch in February 2020 and are now undertaking this vital role within their organisations. The sessions are run virtually, by experts in the discipline, and are open to all Health and Care workers.

What does training to become a PFA involve?

BSOL offers two tailored programmes; one specifically for managers and one for team members. Both programmes have been brought forward, to reflect the increasing impact that the pandemic is having on the mental health of employees.