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Sweden: a pilot project of the Church for training in “psychological first aid”

A pilot project of the Church for training in “psychological first aid” will start in the next few weeks. The initiative is mainly addressed to people who are in a position where they have to deal with crises: teachers or social workers, volunteers or people helping with asylum seekers, people who leave to brings aids in areas hit by natural disasters. “When an accident happens or one is in a crisis”, explains Carina Hjelmstam Winberg who is the coordinator of the project, “it helps if we all can be in the forefront; if we can help, this makes all the difference to the affected people”. The goal of such training is to provide tools to “respond to the needs of those who are experiencing acute stress, so that they are led to get more help”. Actually, the key steps in the first-aid method are: “Looking, listening, being able to help find more contacts”. Carina Hjelmstam Winberg goes on: “Social and emotional pain can be more impactful on populations affected by disasters than physical damage. That’s why the Swedish Church intends to offer a holistic approach to what we do”. The training workshops will last two days and will be supported by a number of Swedish organisations that deal with humanitarian aids on a global scale.

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