Psychological First Aid


Psychological First Aid, Suicidality Screening by Friends and Family

  • Indications
  1. Immediate support for patients after Traumatic event
  • Protocol
  • Response to Traumatic Events
  1. Contact and engage the patient
  2. Is patient safe?
  3. Stabilization
  4. Identify needs and concerns
  5. Assist with needs and concerns
  6. Connect patient with support
  7. Educate about stress reactions and promote coping techniques
  8. Connect patient with local collaborative services
  • Protocol
  • Suicidality Screening by Friends and Family
  1. Be alert to red flag signs and symptoms
    1. See Suicidality for risk factors
    2. Comments of "being a burden" or "better off dead"
    3. Isolation or social withdrawal
  2. ASK directly about Suicide
    1. Questions about Suicide do not increase Suicide Risk and may decrease distress (knowing others care)
    2. Ask "Are you thinking of Killing Yourself?"
    3. Ask "Can we talk about it?" or "Is there something I can do to help right now?"
    4. Ask "Do you have a plan?" or "Have you thought how and when you would kill yourself?"
    1. Avoid giving advice or interrupting
    2. Listen calmly in a non-judgmental way
    3. Respond "This sounds very hard. Thank you for trusting me enough to share this"
    4. Respond "I want you to live. Please let me help you find a way to make things better"
  4. CONNECT with resources
    1. Call 911 if imminent danger of person with a plan, commiting Suicide
    2. Connect patient with National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
      1. See resources below
      2. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
      3. Phone: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK or 3 digit code: 988)
  5. References
    1. (2022) Presc Lett 29(3): 15
  • Resources
  1. NCTSN Psychological First Aid
    1. http://www.nctsn.org/content/psychological-first-aid
  2. Disaster Distress Help Line
    1. https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/recovering-emotionally.html
  3. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
    2. Phone: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK or 3 digit code: 988)
  4. Crisis Text Line
    1. https://www.crisistextline.org/
    2. Text: 741741