In the wake of a terrorist attack, it is important that employers communicate with staff, listen to and allay any concerns, and encourage them to carry on as normal. However in the majority of times they too have been affected and also need support. Therefore its important to consider interventions that support employers and organizations rebound as quickly as possible. One such intervention is to offer psychological first Aid (PFA).
Psychological first aid is a humane, supportive response to a person or a group of people, who have experienced a traumatic event and may be in need support. PFA involves the following themes:
- assessing needs and concerns
- providing practical care and support, which does not intrude
- listening to people, but not pressuring them to talk
- comforting people and helping them to feel calm
- helping people connect to information, services and social supports
- protecting people from further harm
One of the best weapons against terrorism and its effects is information. There is a direct correlation between people who are more informed and being less affected by psychological reactions to traumatic episodes. People who have access to information are more aware of the different symptoms and therefore are able to normalize what is happening to them quickly. PFA provides the needed psychoeducation for persons affected esp. in workplace environments.
It is important to keep in mind that terrorism generally targets the unity and cohesiveness of a country, and therefore all prevention and response interventions need to address this aspect. PFA supports this through having open forums in the work place to discuss the incidents, and in addition staff are able to not only vent but also support each other as they try to logically deal with events around terrorism.
PFA sessions in a work place environment, are meant to be interactive and engaging. They are intended to therefore facilitate stress reduction and also act as team building sessions.
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