Physiotherapy staff can now access free online training to help them provide psychological support to people affected by Covid-19.
The training is available from Public Health England (PHE), which has launched an updated Psychological First Aid (PFA) digital training module, which is aimed at all frontline and essential workers and volunteers.
The course aims to enhance people’s skills in identifying and providing practical and emotional support to those in distress during emergency situations – and particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
No previous qualifications are required and the training only takes around 90 minutes to complete. It is also available in three sessions, so learners can complete each module at their own pace.
Natalie Beswetherick, CSP director of practice and development, said: ‘This learning will be of benefit to all practising physios, and it will help them recognise colleagues who are in distress.
'It is also very helpful that is can be completed in three shorter sessions.'
Offering practical and emotional support
By the end of the Covid-19: Psychological First Aid course, participants will gain a valuable understanding of:
- how emergencies, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, psychologically affect people
- how to recognise people who may be at increased risk of distress
- how to offer people practical and emotional support
Maintaining staff wellbeing
Commenting on how useful such training can be, CSP Professional Adviser Jane Mitchell said: ‘I attended Psychological First Aid training as part of a Covid staff wellbeing helpline in Cornwall and it was really helpful.
‘Many organisations are recognising the value of good mental health within the workplace, especially as most adults spend at least a third of their time at work.
‘The key to maintaining a mentally healthy workplace is understanding the people within it and supporting them to be "their whole self".'
She added that Mental Health First Aiders offer a first point of contact for people who may be struggling.
‘The Mental Health First Aider is trained to actively listen to the person and show them what is available to support them at the point of crisis, and they are an essential part of supporting a healthy workplace.’
Further information about this type of training is available at Mental Health First Aid England.
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