Implementation of the Psychological First Aid (PFA) Trial at Fiona Stanley Hospital

Hyranthi Kavanagh1

1Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch, Australia

Commencing in the second half of 2020, a trial of Team First Aid (TFA) and Psychological First Aid (PFA) was commenced within key ward specialty areas to improve the hospital’s response to health care workers (HCWs) impacted by a critical clinical events. PFA was developed as a second phase response, post the delivery of TFA, offered to a team or individual on site and facilitated by an experienced Clinical Psychologist from within the Department of Clinical and Clinical Neuropsychology. The PFA session is offered within five days of the original critical clinical event and is open to all HCWs impacted. This presentation will outline what PFA involves, an acute psychological intervention that is supportive in nature and delivered by peers, designed to promote and foster resilience, conducted in a safe and facilitated discussion format. The goals of PFA will then be presented and will include a discussion of how the program worked to ensure safety, promote calmness, genuinely validate experiences, improve connectedness, encourage engagement and self-efficacy, provide hope, explore practical ideas, and how an array of resources are offered to support ongoing wellbeing. The outcomes of the PFA trial will be presented, highlighting the importance of how the PFA process has made key advancements towards improving the hospital’s response to critical clinical events, the wellbeing of health care workers and will further outline how this program has now been expanded to be hospital wide. Early evaluation results indicate that staff engagement in the TFA/PFA process has increased access to evidence-based psychological resources and identified clear pathways to appropriate psychological supports, improving staff wellbeing and resilience.


Hyranthi Kavanagh is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Department for Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology at Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospital Group.

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