SSW and Department of Emergency Management, Team Up to Offer Psychological First Aid Training

The School of Social Welfare under direction of Professor Kathleen Monahan and the Department of Emergency Management under the direction of Leo J. DeBobes, co-sponsored a Psychological First Aid (PFA) training for social workers and others in the helping and healthcare profession on March 24. The Schools of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University and the State University at Albany who provided the trainers, presented a four-hour didactic and experiential training in responding to disasters. 

Psychological First Aid  is an evidence-informed approach that provides staff and volunteers with practical ways to help people with their basic needs and immediate concerns during a disaster.  PFA provides disaster workers with tools to help survivors reduce anxiety, promote positive coping skills and develop a more positive attitude toward themselves, which may prevent long-term problems and promote healing.  This training may also be useful for individuals dealing with other traumatic events.

The training was a resounding success with over forty social workers in attendance as well as campus members and individuals from agencies and hospitals. The Schools of Social Welfare at Stony Brook and Albany are hoping to sponsor another training in the fall for Social Workers and Behavioral Health Staff as PFA Technical Advisors for the purpose of training their own staff and other community partners to facilitate the PFA practice sessions.