Disaster Response
Psychological First Aid (PFA)
Volunteer Responders

What is Psychological First Aid and why is it important?

PFA is designed to assist individuals who have experienced traumatic events. PFA is a short-term intervention that uses established mental health techniques to lessen adverse emotional conditions often caused by sudden or prolonged stress.

Who can volunteer to provide Psychological First Aid?

PFA may be provided by volunteers who are trained in crisis response, but who may not have formal training and education in counseling or psychology. The PFA volunteers make themselves available to others in the event of a disaster and assist survivors to process the effects of a disaster on their emotional health. PFA volunteers may also assist survivors to access more extensive community services. The amount of time an individual PFA volunteer makes available to serve is up to the volunteer.

What do Harris County and the City of Houston provide for its PFA volunteers?

All volunteers will be provided PFA training. This training is free of charge and has been developed by experts in the mental health field. All PFA volunteer service is coordinated through Harris County and the City of Houston. This coordination supports field operations, volunteer assignments, volunteer support and oversight.

How does being a PFA volunteer benefit me?

The main benefit is the community service provided to those impacted by a disaster and who may be in need of the understanding, compassionate ear of another person. As a PFA volunteer, you will provide support and encouragement to individuals in your community. The PFA training may be used for professional CEUs and other certification/licensure requirements.

PFA volunteers are deployed to augment Harris County and City of Houston resources as needed.

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