How to help your loved ones affected by the earthquake


Did you know that first aid can be provided not only when our physical health is in danger, but also after sudden and negative impacts that affect mental health? Early reactions after a traumatic event can lead to stress that can prevent a person from coping with the situation. At work first psychological aidThis is the disaster relief method adopted by the World Health Organization. Prepared by the World Health Organization and endorsed by many international organizations psychological first aid guideIt is written for those who can help those who have experienced an extremely sad event. And includes psychological first aid, which includes humane, supportive and practical assistance to people who have experienced serious crisis events. The purpose of this type of intervention is to provide people with safety, stability, and resources to enhance the survivors’ ability to cope immediately after a traumatic event. The ability to support people in a way that respects their dignity, culture and abilities. Now, first psychological aid Let’s take a closer look at the subject.

What is Psychological First Aid?

Psychological first aid is not an on-site treatment, so it does not require special knowledge. It aims to bring people together in the aftermath of a disaster to provide resources and support to meet their immediate needs. Psychological care includes eight key components, including:

  • Establishing the first contact
  • Ensuring the safety and comfort of people
  • Reassure and guide people
  • Identification of urgent needs of people
  • Providing practical assistance
  • Connecting people with resources
  • Providing Survival Strategies
  • Connecting people to collaborative services

Worth mentioning again; Psychological First Aid is not a professional mental health service.. Therefore, it can be carried out by non-specialists. This concept refers to relief and humanitarian assistance provided to people who need support and assistance as a result of natural disasters such as terrorist attacks, wars, violence and earthquakes.

History of the concept of psychological first aid

The concept was introduced in the mid-20th century but gained attention as a response to natural disasters, especially after the 9/11 attacks.

In 2001, the National Institute of Mental Health brought together 60 mental health professionals in schools to discuss psychological interventions for mass violence in response to terrorist attacks.

. After this step, psychological first aid became a comprehensive early response to natural disasters.

How to provide first psychological aid?

The provision of psychological first aid may differ from crisis to crisis and from person to person. Because every situation is unique. While there are some general responses to natural disasters, each individual has individual responses and their immediate needs may vary.

  • Persons trained in psychological first aid learn to encourage: Safety:
  • They help meet people’s needs for food, shelter, and medical care. Serenity:
  • They listen to people’s stories and feelings. Connection:
  • They help people find their friends and family and stay with them. Hope:
  • They remind people that help is near and tell them about the resources they have. Self-sufficiency:

They give people advice on how they can help themselves.

*Because psychological first aid is not therapy or mental treatment, practitioners avoid simply reassuring or telling people how they should feel or what to do.

Psychological First Aid Principles: Watch, Listen, Connectpsychological help Moreover Watch – Listen – Connect

summed up in principle.

1. Look

  • The priority is to ensure the safety of the person, as there may still be danger at the scene. Because the injured person may not be aware of their safety due to their mental state. The scene should then be examined to identify people with immediate basic needs. Finally, people with severe stress reactions should be identified and prioritized.
  • Check security.
  • Check people with urgent basic needs.

Test people with severe stress reactions.

2. Listen

  • If you listen, asking the right questions without forcing people to talk, it can create a relaxing effect after an injury. Emotions such as surprise, fear, anger, and guilt are common post-traumatic symptoms. Instead of discussing these feelings with the person just by listening if they don’t feel like talking, being quiet with them can make them feel safe.
  • Reach out to people who may need support.
  • Ask about people’s needs and concerns.

Listen to people and help them calm down.

3. Connect

  • A traumatized person may feel like their world is completely falling apart. Reaching out to loved ones, understanding her basic needs, and getting real information despite rumors can help her reconnect safely with the world.
  • Help people communicate their basic needs and access services.
  • Help them deal with their problems.
  • Give information.

Help people connect with loved ones and provide social support.

What is Psychological First Aid?

  • Just as important as understanding what psychological first aid is is understanding what it is not. psychological help;
  • This is not something that only professionals can do.
  • This is not professional psychological counseling.
  • This is not a “psychological interpretation” as it does not include a detailed discussion of the stressful event.
  • This is not a request for people to analyze what has happened to them, or to list times and events.

While this involves being present and listening to people’s stories, it does not force them to describe their feelings and reactions to the event.

Who can provide first aid?

Anyone can take first aid training. However, this type of first aid is often provided by first responders, medical professionals, disaster relief agencies, as some people are more likely to be present after a disaster.

When is first aid used?

  • According to experts, psychological first aid is helpful for anyone who has survived or witnessed a traumatic event, including people of all ages and genders. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists the following crisis situations in which psychological assistance is needed and can be beneficial:
  • Natural disasters
  • War
  • terrorist attacks
  • disease outbreaks
  • Migration
  • Robbery


  • After a natural disaster like the one described above, people have some common reactions to stress. These immediate reactions can be reduced with psychological first aid so that people can better cope with difficulties in the long term. Common post-traumatic stress reactions may include:
  • confusion, confusion
  • Fear
  • Despair
  • Insomnia
  • Pain
  • Anger
  • Age
  • Shock


Why is first aid important?

Psychological first aid is important. Because, even if people do not suffer any permanent physical damage from an event, they may experience the psychological effects of the trauma associated with it for many years. However, this type of first aid can help people return to a normal psychological life.

Finally; Let’s say psychological first aid is a basic skill that almost anyone can learn, just like physical first aid. Of course, this issue is very, very important for first responders, health workers and liquidators. Important note:

Despite its widespread use and promotion, there is still little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of post-disaster psychological first aid. However, it is based on well-established concepts of human resilience. It has also been developed by organizations involved in research and response to mental illness and natural disasters. Therefore, it should be noted that the application is based on current knowledge and research.

To learn more about Psychological First Aid, you can check out the World Health Organization’s detailed guide to Psychological First Aid here. You may be interested in:

How to communicate with children after an earthquake?

Sources: verywellhealth, WHO.

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