TeachME Professional Development

Psychological First Aid for Schools

What Is Psychological First Aid for Schools?

1. The principles and techniques of PFA-S meet five basic standards, including each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Consistent with research evidence on risk and resilience following trauma and applicable in field settings

B. Respectful of and consistent with the school administration of the academic setting, school culture, and the behavior (code of conduct) of students

C. Delivered in a socially-informed and deliberate manner

D. Appropriate for developmental levels across the lifespan


Why Provide Psychological First Aid in Schools (PFA-S)?

2. School mental health initiatives such as PFA-S are particularly important because trauma-related distress can have a long-term impact if left untreated, and can lead to increased dropout rates, lower academic achievement, disruptive peer relationships, and poor overall well-being.

A. True

B. False


How Does PFA-S Fit into Existing School Emergency Plans?

3. Conducting emergency simulations in collaboration with outside agencies occurs in the prevention/mitigation phase of PFA-S.

A. True

B. False


The PFA-S Provider-Personal and Professional Requirements

4. PFS-A providers must have the ability to pay attention to their own emotional and physical reactions, and:

A. Practice self-care

B. Model a sense of safety

C. Reduce distress in others

D. Proceed with caution


Guidelines for Delivering PFA-S

5. Leaders and responders must remember that the goal of PFA-S is to reduce distress, assist with current needs, and promote adaptive functioning, while eliciting details of the traumatic experience.

A. True

B. False


Autism-How to Help

6. For students with an an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a self-contained classroom, the most helpful intervention will be a return to their normal daily routine, as trying to teach them exercises meant to help them cope which may actually increase their distress.

A. True

B. False


Implement PFA-S in Groups

7. Which of the following in NOT one of the recommendations when implementing psychological first aid in groups?

A. Tailor the discussion to the shared needs and concerns of the group

B. Focus the discussion on details of the emergency so students can share their feelings

C. Answer questions honestly, but limit the information to what the students and staff can handle and tolerate

D. Keep the focus on creating a supportive environment for each other, with the overall goal of having the school return to a healthy learning environment


Psychological First Aid Core Actions

8. The goal of calming and orienting emotionally overwhelmed or disoriented students and staff is an element of which core action?

A. Contact and engagement

B. Safety and comfort

C. Stabilization

D. Practical assistance


Core Action 1: Contact and Engagement-Culture Alert

9. Since the type of physical or personal contact considered appropriate may vary from person to person and across cultures and social groups, responders should look for clues that indicate an individual's need for personal space and seek guidance about the most common and important cultural norms from those who best understand local customs.

A. True

B. False


Initiating Contact and Engagement by Setting

10. If possible, school officials should avoid large group settings such as an auditorium when delivering emotionally sensitive information because in an emotionally charged environment, one message will be heard many different ways and may easily become distorted, and unnecessary distress may result.

A. True

B. False


Core Action 2: Safety and Comfort

11. In order to provide comfort and increase a sense of safety, school administration and staff should take steps that are active, practical, _________, and soothing.

A. Reasonable

B. Constructive

C. Supportive

D. Familiar


Address Media and Social Networking Safety Concerns

12. PSA-S providers should be proactive about information sharing by encouraging school officials to post accurate reports and psychoeducational material (including recommendations for where to seek assistance) on social networking forums, on other social media sites, and on official websites as soon as possible.

A. True

B. False


Help Students/Staff with Grief-Provider Alert

13. School-age children understand the physical reality of death, but may picture death as a monster or a skeleton, and in longing for the loved one's return, they may feel an upsetting 'ghostlike' presence of the lost person, but not tell anyone.

A. True

B. False


Core Action 3: Stabilization-Remember

14. Most individuals affected by school emergencies will require stabilization, especially when they exhibit strong emotions, numbing, and anxiety.

A. True

B. False


Assist Individuals with Extreme Agitation and Disorientation

15. If the person appears extremely agitated, has accelerated speech, seems out of touch with the surroundings, or is crying intensely, it may be helpful to use a technique known as _________, where the person can focus on the things that he or she hears in the moment, instead of all the thoughts that he or she is having.

A. Orienting

B. Familiarizing

C. Grounding

D. Adapting


Core Action 4: Information Gathering-Provider Alert

16. If a person is anxious to talk about an experience, it is appropriate to ask for in-depth descriptions, as this may relieve additional distress by allowing the person to share perspective, thoughts, and feelings.

A. True

B. False


Areas of Concern and PFA Interventions

17. A PFA-S provider who has immediate concerns about safety concerns or ongoing threats should:

A. Provide information obtained from officials about the incident as well as available services

B. Connect people to information resources and registries to help locate their loved ones

C. Obtain medical and/or psychological care if appropriate

D. Provide practical assistance and connect students with social supports


Core Action 5: Practical Assistance

18. To facilitate the school's recovery after an emergency, school staff can encourage students to participate and organize various recovery activities, including donation drives, clean-up days, or events that promote wellness or civic responsibility.

A. True

B. False


19. Even under conditions of stress and adversity, helping individuals _______________ may reverse their immediate feelings of failure and inability to cope, give them repeated successes, and help them reestablish the sense of control necessary for recovery.

A. Return to normalcy

B. Set achievable goals

C. Focus on future plans

D. Define new purposes


Action 6: Connection with Social Supports-Enhance Access to Primary Support Persons

20. Most individuals will immediately want to contact those with whom they have a primary relationship, so it is important to take practical steps to assist students and school staff to reach these individuals.

A. True

B. False


Model Support

21. When providers offer assistance by making statements to others such as : 'From what you're saying, I can see how you would be . . .' and 'It seems that you are . . .', they are making:

A. Thoughtful comments

B. Supportive comments

C. Deliberate comments

D. Reflective comments


Core Action 7: Information on Coping-Provide Basic Information about Stress Reactions

22. When discussing the stress reactions that people commonly experience after a crisis, it is helpful to use the term "symptoms" to help them realize that these are temporary issues related to the emergency, rather than pathological disorders.

A. True

B. False


Post-Traumatic Stress Reactions

23. Distressing thoughts or mental images of the event, dreams about what happened, and intrusive reactions such as upsetting emotional or physical reactions to reminders of the experience are considered to be physical arousal reactions.

A. True

B. False


Give Special Attention to Adolescents

24. When adolescents find that their parents/caregivers are more anxious about their safety and, consequently, more restrictive in what they allow their teens to do facing a disaster or crisis, it is important to help them understand that this increase in their caregivers' protective behaviors is common and usually temporary.

A. True

B. False


Core Action 8: Linkage with Collaborative Services-Provide Direct Link to Additional Needed Services

25. Which of the following is NOT an example of a situation that would require a referral to additional services?

A. Worsening of a preexisting medical, emotional, or behavioral problem

B. Significant developmental concerns about children or adolescents

C. Ongoing difficulties with coping after six or more weeks following the event

D. When the person asks for a referral


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