Phase Two – Educate

Many first responders look to their family members and close friends for support following occupational stress. We are unclear about how family members and friends are equipped to provide this support. Our project aims to raise awareness of the impact of critical incident stress on first responders and to educate their loved ones with basic psychological first aid techniques to support better wellbeing in the family unit.

Family members and friends participating in the project will receive pre-course material before attending the training program. The material includes information on how it is perfectly normal for first responders to have negative reactions to some of the incidents they witness and how sometimes these reactions can impact at home. Training in practical techniques will enhance family members’ and friends’ communication skills, enabling them to recognize signs and symptoms of stress and encouraging them to engage with their first responders to support them. The training involves scenario-based interactions with trained simulated participants portraying the role of the first responders.

Simulation based education allows family members and friends to practice their newly acquired skills in a safe environment.