Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) are promising practices for disaster behavioral health response and recovery. Both PFA and SPR were developed by the National Center for PTSD and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, as well as other individuals involved in coordinating and participating in disaster response and recovery.

PFA and SPR intervention strategies are intended for use with children, adolescents, parents and caretakers, families, and adults who are survivors or witnesses exposed to disaster or terrorism. PFA and SPR can also be provided to first responders and other disaster relief workers.

While grounded in the same foundations of disaster response and recovery, there are several differences between PFA and SPR.

PFA online includes a 6-hour interactive course that puts the participant in the role of a provider in a post-disaster scene. This professionally-narrated course is for individuals new to disaster response who want to learn the core goals of PFA, as well as for seasoned practitioners who want a review. It features innovative activities, video demonstrations, and mentor tips from the nation’s trauma experts and survivors. PFA online also offers a Learning Community where participants can share about experiences using PFA in the field, receive guidance during times of disaster, and obtain additional resources and training.

Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) is a 5-hour interactive course designed for providers to help survivors gain skills to manage distress and cope with post-disaster stress and adversity. This course is for individuals who want to learn about using SPR, learning the goals and rationale of each core skill, delivering SPR, and supporting survivors in the aftermath of a disaster or traumatic event.