Community-Based Psychological First Aid: A Practical Guide to Helping Individuals and Communities during Difficult Times presents a practical method for helping those in need in difficult times. No advanced training in psychology is needed to use it.
Injuries from disasters, terrorist events, and civil unrest are not just physical. These events also cause psychological trauma that can do lasting damage. Psychological First Aid (PFA) draws on human resilience and aims to reduce stress systems and help those affected recover. It is not professional psychotherapy, and those providing this kind of aid do not need a degree to help. Gerard Jacobs has developed this community-based method of delivering PFA over 20 years and has taught it in over 30 countries.
Along with the easy-to-follow method, Jacobs includes examples of how this works in action in different situations, and presents scenarios to practice. Unique in its approach of community engagement to train community members to help each other, this guide is an excellent resource for local emergency managers to engage in whole community emergency management.
- Presents a proven method for helping to alleviate the mental health effects of disasters, terrorist attacks, civil unrest, and other community stressors
- Offers a community-based model developed and taught by an international expert for over 20 years, requiring no advanced training or education in psychology to use
- Provides techniques that are adaptable to individual communities or cultures
- Outlines practices for self-care while helping others to prevent burnout
- Includes case studies, scenarios, and key terms to help facilitate community training
Gerard A. (Jerry) Jacobs, Ph.D., is the Director of the Disaster Mental Health Institute (DMHI) and a Professor in the doctoral Clinical Psychology Training Program at The University of South Dakota.
He has worked with organizations nationally (e.g., American Red Cross, American Psychological Association [APA], U.S. Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Defense) and internationally (e.g., World Health Organization, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Organizations, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, International Union for Psychological Science, Japan Red Cross Society).
His disaster responses have ranged from minor events to the massive loss of life and chaos of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, the 2001 Gujarat, India, earthquake, and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. He was asked to return from working on the tsunami response in Sri Lanka to set up the American Red Cross disaster mental health program for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Jacobs was an 'invited expert" on the National Biodefense Science Board's (now the National Preparedness and Response Science Board) Subcommittee on Disaster Mental Health and served as a member of the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine Committee on Preparing for the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism (Institute of Medicine, 2003). He has been working on the implementation of community-based psychological support since 1996 and has worked in more than 30 countries in developing psychological support programs.