After a natural disaster or any traumatic incident, a lot of people are likely to be distressed, whether they are survivors, witnesses, or responders of such events.
According to Dr. Shweta Sharma, mental health specialist in Gurgaon, if you need to give emergency psychological support to them, you can simply follow the steps given below:-
- Approach the Individual
- Introduce yourself, try to make them comfortable, and state the name of any organization you are affiliated with.
- Be polite and professional – use the gestures like please and thank you.
- Try to find a safe and private place to talk if possible.
- Stabilize their Emotions
- Communicate calmly, with a warm tone. The person might be in shock or stigma, so you may need to repeat yourself at times.
- Ask permission before you hug or touch them
- Ask them to practice some grounding exercises, such as taking deep breaths.
- Serve their Needs
- Try to connect with them, ask them if they need something.
- In case they are not in the senses to answer you, offer practical support, such as a blanket or water.
- Help them to find their friends or family members.
- Inform them about the Facts.
- Create a sense of safety.
- Give them information about the incident
- Be honest if you don’t know the answer to any questions.
- Don’t make false promises.
- Avoid generalizations, such as everything will be fine.
- Support their Story
- Respect the privacy of an individual.
- Don’t pressurize them to recall their trauma or to share any personal detail.
- Let them cry and go silent if they want to.
- Allow the individual to assign whatever spiritual or religious meaning they wish toward the crisis.
- Provide Emotional Assistance
- Speaking and acting calm ensures the individuals that they are in a safe place and can calm themselves.
- You can create a connection by building an on-scene relationship.
- They might be suffering emotionally, do listen to them if they say something.
- Allow them to cry if they want to.
According to the experts of VMedica Multispeciality clinic in Gurgaon:-
Psychological first-aid should be taught more often to a lot of people. Not only the first responders but everyone with friends or family must learn it.