Psychological First Aid is a means of providing psychosocial support to individuals and families immediately after a disaster, terrorist or traumatic event, or other emergency. It consists of a set of helping actions which are systematically undertaken in order to reduce initial post-trauma distress and to support short- and long-term adaptive functioning. Based on the principle of “do no harm”, it is provided increasingly by members of the general population, although mental health professionals are almost always involved as well.

In this video, Richard Hill defines Psychological First Aid (or PFA), identifying its characteristics, and explaining why our modern world demands this level of assistance. This video consists of part 1 of a two-part series: we recommend you watch the companion video “Core Actions of Psychological First Aid” after watching this.