Psychological trauma can be defined as exposure incidents of overwhelming stress where stress comes from the death of others, the threat of death to a person, or injury to oneself or others by violence, natural disasters or accidents and this exposure exceeds the victims ability to cope or their ability to overcome emotional reactions to the event. This includes people who lost family members or friends in the event but were not present themselves.
In situations where families are fleeing conflict areas, and have experienced traumatic events often community members find themselves “counseling” each other as people try to cope with overwhelming psychological responses to the situation. Psychological first aid assists members of the family and communities as they try to cope with chaotic and disturbing challenges.
Psychological first aid adapts basic psychological principles to prepare community workers or professionals with no background in mental health services to provide simple but effective support for people suffering from symptoms of trauma, anxiety and depression, or people who are having difficulty coping with challenging circumstances.
In this training we identify cultural strengths that Afghan families, and communities have that if encouraged can provide natural healing for victims of trauma, and we help our trainees learn to identify and promote healthy networks of psychosocial support within the communities.