Manuals, Toolkits and Guidance

Psychological First Aid: Guide for field workers

small calendar icon

Publication year:


small globe icon

English, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, Estonian, Persian/Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Karen, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Burmese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu

small file information icon



small number of pages icon


Psychological first aid: Guide for fieldworkers, released by WHO, the War Trauma Foundation (WTF) and World Vision International (WVI). Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an approach recommended in the IASC Guidelines for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC, 2007), the current Sphere Guidelines (2011) and WHOs Mental Health GAP Intervention Guide (2010). PFA covers both social and psychological support and involves the provision of humane, supportive and practical help to people suffering from serious crisis events.

This guide – which can be taught to humanitarian workers within one day for immediate use – was developed in order to have widely agreed upon psychological first aid materials for use in low and middle income countries. It reflects the emerging science and international consensus on how to provide basic support to people in the immediate aftermath of extremely stressful events. Endorsed by many international agencies, this guide gives simple, practical guidance for supporting people in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities. This guide will enable humanitarian and emergency workers from all over the world to provide basic but vital psychosocial support to people in acute distress, including helping distressed relief workers themselves.

This publication is also available in Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Romanian, Russian, Sinhala, Tamil, Turkish and Urdu via the WHO website.

View & Download

Autodetected language

Other languages

Document information


© World Health Organization 2011




© Author/Publisher


Mental health and psychosocial support

Psychological First Aid

Refugee crisis

SubscribeSubscribe and receive reading selections

LibrarySave all your favorite materials for future use

UploadUpload research & contribute to the collection

By browsing the Resource Centre you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read our cookie policy.