Friday, April 21, 2017- From Wednesday, April 19, 2017 to Thursday, April 20, 2017 the Republic of Palau Ministry of Health (MOH) hosted a Psychological First Aid Workshop at the Assembly Hall of Palau Community College (PCC). The workshop was offered to community volunteers & key partner agencies involved with responding to crisis events such as natural disasters (e. g., typhoons or earthquakes) or distressing situations (e. g., car accidents or a loss of a loved one). Participating agencies included the Palau Red Cross Society (PRCS), the Norwegian People’s Aid, the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO), the Weather Service Bureau, the Bureau of Public Safety under the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Ministry of Education (MOE), Emmaus-Bethania High School, State & Cultural Affairs of the Koror State Government (KSG), the Palau Community Action Agency (PCAA), and the Palau National Olympic Committee (PNOC).
Psychological First Aid is defined as a humane, supportive response offered to a fellow human being who is suffering and may need support. It involves providing practical care & support that is not intrusive; assessing a person’s needs & concerns; helping people address basic needs such as food, water, or information about a situation; listening to people without pressuring them to talk; comforting people and helping them feel calm; helping people connect to information, services, or social supports; and protecting people from further harm. Any person—not just medical professionals—may offer Psychological First Aid.
The Psychological First Aid Workshop highlighted skills needed for assisting people who have experienced crisis situations. Participants were taught how to assess a situation, identify people in need of Psychological First Aid, and apply the proper methods of approaching distressed individuals. Simulations of crisis events allowed the participants to practice applying Psychological First Aid. The workshop also identified the three action principles of Psychological First Aid: Look (Momes), Listen (Morrenges), and Link (Molngeseu).
The Psychological First Aid Workshop was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the MOH Emergency Health Program and the MOH Division of Behavioral Health. Facilitator for the workshop was Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Jasmine Vergara. It was organized by Preparedness Training & Exercise Coordinator DilJune E. Ngiraswei. [/restrict]