Psychological first aid vital, says Swann

Professor Ofa Swann. Picture: JAKE CABANIUK/FILE

IT is vital to have psychological first aid in any mishap, says a University of the South Pacific psychologist.

Ofa Swann said this was something that needed to be addressed in Fiji.

She said psychological first aid was a technique designed to reduce the occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“For any critical or severe traumatic incident, it is imperative for all first responders to have ‘psychological first aid’ or ‘critical incident debrief’ made available as soon as possible to them.

Note this is for the first responders. The debrief usually helps in breaking down the events of the incident to make it easier to focus on the facts and aid in the recovery from the cognitive and emotional distress that these incidences cause.

“I believe that the paramedics or those who work for the ambulatory services are equipped with ‘psychological first aid’.”

St John Association of Fiji CEO Emma Bovoro confirmed this.

“Our St John Fiji Ambulance officers and first responders are taught psychological first aid and this is practised at site of any incident,” Ms Bovoro said.

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