Asian Institute of distance education
18 September 2014 - AIM Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management (AIM-ZDM) in partnership with the Private Sector Disaster Management Network (PSDMN) organized the second distance learning session on “Psychological First Aid (PFA): Mutual Support for Resiliency after Crisis” last 17 September 2014 at AIM campus in Makati City.
The 3.5-hour session was held at the Global Distance Learning Center (GDLC) housed at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City. It used video conference technology that connected participants in the Philippines to those in Japan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste. The sessions were led by Dr. Leslie Snider, Senior Programme Advisor of the War Trauma Foundation, and Mr. Ananda Galappatti, a medical anthropologist and recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his work in the field of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) intervention in emergencies.
In this course, the participants were introduced to the “Psychological First Aid: Field Guide” (PFA Field Guide) that was published in 2011 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners to provide an easy-to-understand guide on what to do and what not to do when trying to support people who are going through a serious crisis event. The PFA Field Guide has been endorsed by the United Nations, UNICEF, UNHCR, ICRC, Plan International, among other international organizations, and has been widely employed in Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.
The overall goal of the program was to promote understanding on the basics of PFA, the do’s and don’ts, and self-care technique, as well as basics on mental health and psychosocial support after crises. It also aimed to raise awareness on the importance of integrating mental health and psychosocial perspectives in the participants’ respective disaster risk management, health policies and programs.
The program was attended by personnel involved in disaster response, specifically Members of the Psychological Association of the Philippines, officers and instructors of Community Health Education, Emergency Rescue Services (CHEERS), and officials of PSDMN, the private sector arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).