Psychological First Aid
Hauora hinengaro mō ngā mātua
Psychological first aid is the mental and emotional equivalent of physical first aid. It is a helpful framework to follow as it will help you to regulate your own emotions while talking with your child. We know from experience and evidence that by being good, calm and consistent listeners we provide a secure connection for young people while they struggle to make sense of events that are outside of their (and our) control.
Summary of 5 points
- Create a sense of safety – give space for your child to ask questions, provide factual answers. Give reassurance measures are being taken to ensure safety.
- Instill a sense of calmness – Take some time to do a self-check to make sure you are calm, try and avoid clichés, instead use validating statements like “I can see you’re worried about…I’m here to help, we can do this together.”
- Encourage social connectedness – encourage your child to stay connected to peers and to play. Draw on your whanau’s strengths e.g. mutual respect, shared traditions, faith etc,.
- Offer hope – Focus on looking forward, help your child identify the volunteers and professionals working to make a difference. Think creatively about how as a family you can help.
- Promote self-efficacy – Involve your child in the problem-solving process, this is a great way of encouraging and acknowledging their strengths.
Going deeper – some more resources
There are some great resources available to support you in talking with your child about specific big events.