Psychological First Aid

  • Created by George Everly, Jr., PhD
  • Course Duration 1-3 months
  • Price USD$Free
  • User Rating 4.8
  • Platform Coursera
  • Course Link Explore Course
Learn valuable psychological first aid skills through the RAPID model, which focuses on reflective listening, assessment of needs, prioritization, intervention, and disposition, to effectively support those in crisis and promote resilience. Develop your abilities to triage, mitigate distress, and practice self-care in various settings such as the workplace and military.

Unlock Your Potential to Provide Psychological First Aid (PFA) with the RAPID Model


Are you interested in making a significant difference in people’s lives during times of crisis? Do you wish to enhance your ability to provide essential psychological support and intervention? Look no further! Our specialized course in Psychological First Aid (PFA) is designed to equip you with the necessary skills to offer valuable assistance in emergencies, employing the RAPID model (Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition).

Course Overview

In collaboration with Johns Hopkins Open Education Lab, our comprehensive Psychological First Aid course is tailored to empower participants like you with insights into dealing with crises that extend beyond physical injuries. Throughout the course, you will explore various trauma perspectives and learn how to apply the RAPID model effectively. The RAPID model is not limited to particular scenarios; it is widely applicable in public health settings, workplaces, military environments, faith-based organizations, mass disaster venues, and even during the aftermath of accidents, robberies, suicide, homicide, or community violence.

What You’ll Gain

Enrolling in this course will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and skills, allowing you to:

  • Engage in meaningful discussions on key concepts related to Psychological First Aid (PFA).
  • Master the art of reflective listening, a fundamental technique in effective crisis intervention.
  • Differentiate between benign, non-incapacitating psychological or behavioral crisis reactions and more severe, potentially incapacitating ones.
  • Prioritize (triage) psychological or behavioral crisis reactions, ensuring appropriate care is administered promptly.
  • Mitigate acute distress and dysfunction by employing intervention strategies tailored to each situation.
  • Recognize the importance of facilitating access to further mental health support when required.
  • Cultivate a strong practice of self-care to maintain your well-being while providing aid to others.

Who This Course is For

Our specialized course in Psychological First Aid is suitable for:

  • Healthcare professionals seeking to enhance their crisis intervention capabilities.
  • Mental health practitioners aiming to deepen their understanding of trauma support.
  • Emergency responders and personnel in public health settings.
  • Volunteers engaged in community resilience and support initiatives.
  • Individuals interested in gaining valuable skills to assist others in times of need.

Understanding Psychological First Aid (PFA)

The RAPID Model Explained

The RAPID model serves as the backbone of this course, offering a structured approach to Psychological First Aid. By incorporating Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition, this model ensures a comprehensive and systematic response to crisis situations. It equips you with the tools to provide immediate support and lay the groundwork for resilience.

Applications of PFA in Different Settings

The versatility of the RAPID model extends its application to various environments, including:

  • Public Health Settings: Learn to offer crucial support during public health crises and pandemics.
  • Workplace: Enhance your ability to address psychological distress in the workplace environment.
  • Military: Develop skills to aid service members and their families facing challenging situations.
  • Faith-Based Organizations: Extend your reach by providing support in faith communities.
  • Mass Disaster Venues: Acquire essential techniques to handle large-scale emergencies effectively.
  • Common Critical Events: Understand how to assist individuals dealing with aftermath of accidents, robberies, suicides, homicides, or community violence.

Key Learning Objectives

As you progress through the course, you will achieve the following learning objectives:

Gain in-depth knowledge of the principles and concepts underlying Psychological First Aid (PFA). Understand the significance of empathy, compassion, and non-judgmental support in crisis situations.

Reflective Listening Techniques

Develop exceptional listening skills to connect with individuals in distress. Learn how to provide a safe and supportive environment for people to express their emotions freely.

Differentiating Crisis Reactions

Learn to distinguish between different levels of psychological and behavioral crisis reactions. Identify signs of severe distress and potential incapacitation, allowing you to tailor your interventions accordingly.

Prioritizing Psychological Crisis Reactions

Implement a triage system for psychological crisis reactions, ensuring that those in urgent need receive immediate care and support.

Mitigating Distress and Dysfunction

Discover effective strategies to reduce acute distress and dysfunction, promoting stability and well-being.

Facilitating Access to Mental Health Support

Recognize when individuals require further mental health support and learn how to guide them to appropriate resources.

Importance of Practicing Self-Care

Understand the importance of self-care for psychological first aid providers. Learn strategies to maintain your well-being while assisting others.

Course Curriculum Breakdown

To ensure a comprehensive understanding of Psychological First Aid, the course is divided into five engaging weeks:

Week 1: Orientation and History of PFA

This introductory week will familiarize you with the course structure, objectives, and the history of Psychological First Aid. Additionally, you’ll complete a pre-course survey to gauge your existing knowledge and expectations.

What’s included:

  • 4 videos
  • 5 readings

Week 2: Understanding the RAPID Model – The “R” Component

This week delves into the first component of the RAPID model: Reflective listening. You’ll explore the art of active listening and its pivotal role in crisis intervention.

What’s included:

  • 5 videos
  • 1 quiz

Week 3: Exploring the “A” and “P” Components of RAPID Model

During this week, you’ll gain insights into the “A” and “P” components of the RAPID model: Assessment and Prioritization. Understand how to evaluate needs and prioritize responses in crisis scenarios.

What’s included:

  • 9 videos
  • 1 quiz

Week 4: In-Depth Focus on the “I” and “D” Components of RAPID Model

Week 4 focuses on the “I” and “D” components of the RAPID model: Intervention and Disposition. Learn effective intervention techniques and how to facilitate a safe disposition for those in need.

What’s included:

  • 9 videos
  • 1 quiz

Week 5: Becoming an Effective PFA Provider

In the final week, the course will turn the spotlight on you as the provider. You’ll learn about self-care and the importance of maintaining your well-being while providing aid to others.

What’s included:

  • 4 videos
  • 1 reading
  • 1 quiz

Instructor Information

Your instructor for this specialized course is Dr. George Everly, Jr., a highly respected expert in the field of Psychological First Aid. With a PhD and a wealth of experience, Dr. Everly brings valuable insights and practical knowledge to guide you through the course.

Instructor ratings: 4.8 out of 5 (based on 5,445 ratings)


Don’t miss this unique opportunity to master the art of Psychological First Aid with our specialized course. Enroll today and gain the skills to make a real difference in the lives of people during crises. Empower yourself with the RAPID model and contribute to building resilient communities.


  1. Is this course suitable for beginners with no prior experience in psychology or crisis intervention?
    • Absolutely! This course is designed to cater to learners with various backgrounds, including beginners. It provides a comprehensive foundation in Psychological First Aid, making it accessible to all.
  2. How long will it take to complete the course?
    • The course spans five weeks, and each week requires approximately 2 hours of study. In total, you can expect to spend around 6 hours to complete the entire course.
  3. Will I receive a certificate upon completion of the course?
    • Yes, upon successfully completing the course, you will receive a certificate that you can add to your LinkedIn profile, resume, or CV.
  4. Is financial aid available for this course?
    • Yes, financial aid is available for eligible learners. You can check the course website for more details on the application process.
  5. Can I learn at my own pace?
    • Absolutely! The course is designed to be flexible, allowing you to learn at your own pace and manage your study schedule according to your convenience.

Enroll now and embark on your journey to becoming a confident and effective Psychological First Aid provider!