Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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International Medical Corps expands access to PFA Training for first responders


Unlike physical wounds, emotional, mental, psychological wounds often go unnoticed and untreated. International Medical Corps addresses this issue while training first responders.

Svetlana, 83, a refugee with an uncertain future and a recent past filled with violence, was not wearing a bloodied bandage as she waited in a Romanian refugee reception center just across the border from Ukraine. There was no need for her to be rushed to the hospital. However, she did not escape the war in her homeland unscathed.

While physical wounds are immediately visible to the naked eye, mental and emotional scars experienced from conflicts and losses are often left untreated for those who are internally displaced; they are often forced to suffer in silence. 

The International Medical Corps, which has decades of experience in addressing issues such as these, will be addressing the needs of people displaced by conflict.

As one of the few international relief organizations to prioritize the prevention and treatment of mental health and psychosocial issues in humanitarian crises, the International Medical Corps has the expertise, experience and the capacity to respond to immediate needs of refugees as well as impart training to others to do the same.

With the support of FedEx, the International Medical Corps has developed an interactive online training program called “Principles of Psychological First Aid.” The two-hour course, which is free of cost, shows how psychological first aid (PFA) encompasses a humane, supportive response to anyone who is in distress and who may need additional support.

It is also imparting online training program, available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, since its launch in October 2021; since then it has been completed by more than 3,000 people from 150 countries.

A participant gave feedback on the program saying, it was “a great course for anyone who is interested in the welfare of people who suffer from adversity and has a passion for humanity. I really feel informed and prepared for my future endeavors especially in the field.” 

While another said, “Clear, concise, well-crafted. Thank you. I’m a US Department of State psychiatrist posted overseas and found this very helpful.”

According to the United Nations, persecution, conflict, violence and human rights violations have left 100 million people forcibly displaced in 2022—an annual figure that has more than doubled over the last 10 years. That means 100 million people—approximately the populations of California, Texas and Florida combined—made the difficult decision to leave behind their homes, and often their livelihoods, to face an uncertain future. These survivors are at higher risk for psychological distress and mental health conditions. PFA training helps first responders and others to identify who needs help, and which of these vulnerable people may need additional support.

With conflicts continuing to rise each year in the world, the course will significantly help to increase the number of people equipped with the skills they need to meet the most urgent mental health needs of the millions of men, women and children impacted by humanitarian crises around the world.

To know more do visit https://www.disasterready.org/principles-of-psychological-first-aid