Preparing for Emergencies- Guidance For Health Boards in Scotland

The document provides strategic guidance for Health Board Chief Executives and NHS Senior Managers on fulfilling their obligations under the Civil Contingencies 2004 and other key legislation underpinning emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Appendix 8

Psychological First Aid (PFA)

The various components of effective PFA[37,38] are set out below.

However, there is no particular order to follow, as the order will depend on the individual and the emergency:

  • Provide immediate care for physical needs
  • Protect from further threat and distress
  • Provide comfort and console distress
  • Provide practical help and support for real-world-based tasks (e.g. arranging funerals, information gathering)
  • Provide education about normal responses to trauma exposure. This should involve two essential elements:
  • Recognising the range of reactions
  • Respecting and validating the normality of the post trauma reaction
  • Facilitation of reunion with loved ones where possible and/or connection with social supports
  • Provide information on coping and accessing additional support


Email: NHSScotland Resilience Unit

Back to top