Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshop on Psychological First Aid

  • 2017•09•11     Kuala Lumpur

    The United Nation University-International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) had recently organised a Psychological First Aid (PFA) Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop at its premises within HUKM, Bandar Tun Razak from 5-7 September 2017.

    The 3-day workshop was attended by 24 participants (in total) including counsellors, trainers, disaster management specialists, psychology officer, social workers and nursing lecturer. All, but two, were Malaysians. The workshop included a detailed explanation of the role of PFA and its practice. The workshop methodology included lectures, role plays, group discussions, sharing of experiences and practicing to deliver lectures to others.

    Participants discussed the role of psychological first aiders, learning how to approach and render assistance in a disaster situations without causing further harm to survivors. Participants in this cohort were very active and participated wholeheartedly in simulations and role plays of the different scenarios, where they switched and played different role from being a “helper, survivor and facilitator”.

    The new trainers, are encouraged to use what they have learnt when the opportunity arises. It is hoped they will take steps to actively impart the new skills and knowledge on PFA to their respective organisations, community and or colleagues.

    The workshop was facilitated by 2 well-known experts from Japan. They are by Professor Atsuro Tsutsumi of Kanazawa University, and Dr Eizaburo Tanaka, a psychiatrist and researcher in disaster mental health at Hyogo Institute for Traumatic Stress. Professor Atsuro was also a core member in developing the Psychological First Aid (PFA) and its training modules. The PFA ToT Workshop aims to develop a network of highly trained and confident trainers in Malaysia; who are equipped and fully able to collaborate extensively and deliver further training on PFA to others; based on the Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers first published by WHO in 2011.

    It is hoped that this work will contribute in some ways toward achieving the targets and priorities for action in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction as well as the related goals/targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Simulation on putting the principles of PFA into practice. Photo: UNU-IIGH. Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0

    Participant simulating running a PFA workshop. Photo: UNU-IIGH. Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0

    PFA TOT participants. Photo: UNU-IIGH. Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0