The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) has organised an in-depth workshop on psychological first aid to equip workers in the intervention and psychological support sectors with the essential tools to address individuals’ needs during challenging situations and emergency events.
The one-day workshop targeted individuals who might encounter situations requiring immediate psychological assistance or support for those experiencing emotional distress or trauma. This included emergency medical personnel, police, firefighters, healthcare professionals like nurses, doctors, and other medical staff, community volunteers, social workers, teachers, educators, HR professionals, and anyone keen on understanding psychological first aid.
The course covered four core areas, including the foundational principles and critical importance of psychological first aid; understanding common emotional reactions and recognizing signs of distress during crises; harnessing active listening combined with empathetic communication to offer suitable support; and the facilitation of practical assistance, ensuring individuals are connected to the resources they need.
The workshop aimed to enhance workers capabilities and proficiencies in early intervention during crises, ultimately bolstering stability and facilitating a seamless transition towards accessing psychological, social, and medical services. It also aimed to familiarize participants with the fundamental principles and significance of psychological first aid.
The training highlighted common emotional responses and indicators of distress during crises. Additionally, the workshop emphasized the role of active listening and empathetic communication in offering proper support.
While participants were trained on how to provide practical help and link individuals to necessary resources, the gathering discussed the importance of self-care, equipping attendees with coping strategies to manage stress while assisting others.
HE Sheikha Saeed Al Mansouri, Acting Director General of the Foundation, said: ‘Psychological first aid is vital in disasters or any emotionally distressing event. Timely and appropriate support can notably diminish the long-term repercussions of trauma, bolster coping skills, and amplify resilience. By educating individuals on psychological first aid, we pave the way for a society that stands in solidarity, addressing the needs of its members adeptly, thereby fostering the overall well-being of both the individual and society at large.’
She further noted: “The workshop comes in line with the foundation’s commitment to bolstering both community and official engagement. We look forward to playing a vital role in shaping the future of individuals by equipping them with skills that foster positive societal outcomes. This, in turn, not only enhances the mental well-being of individuals but also prepares the community with adept competencies to address crises and emergencies effectively.”