Psychological First Aid | First Aid Care
Psycological First Aid | First Aid Care

Mental health first aid is the first aid given to a person in a mental health crisis.  Like all first aid, it involves recognizing the emergency calling for help, if necessary, and remaining with the person until trained personnel take over, or the crisis is resolved.

What to look for

When someone is suspected to experiencing a mental health breakdown, there may be some visible indicators of that such as:

  • Inability to think clearly
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Can’t seem to focus on a task
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Depression or sudden mood swings
  • Obvious lack of motivation

How to assist

  • Try to keep person as calm as possible
  • Listen, don’t judge
  • Acknowledge the person’s feelings
  • Talk in a firm but calm with an empathetic tone

Carefully, consider these

In a mental health crisis, the most immediate threat to the person is suicide. Psychological First Aid | First Aid CarePsychological First Aid | First Aid CareResponding to a suicide or a suicide attempt can be traumatic.  If possible, contact support systems for the person especially if you suspect that the person could hurt someone – including him, her or themselves. You should activate the EMS/911 system immediately.

How you could better equip yourself

The Canadian Red Cross with its new course material for Standard First Aid and  CPR Level C has included Mental Health as part of the course – it’s basic, but the information may be sufficient to help someone in a Mental Health Crisis as you could learn how to deal with someone going through a mental  health crises, and other types of medical emergencies.    

Want to learn more? Then the Psychological First Aid course might be the one for you

This course equips learners in developing a personal understanding of the effects of stress, loss, trauma and grief on others, with emphasis on self-care and personal protection. Learners will be introduced to the Red Cross Look, Listen, Link, Live model – a resiliency-building approach to emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing that teaches learners how to support themselves and others to cope with the effects of various types of stress. The course uses primarily case-based learning and includes the latest evidence from the international community.

Consider this

While mental health first aid programs teach how to help someone experiencing a mental health emergency, Red Cross Psychological First Aid is a resiliency-based program for everyone that offers prevention and coping strategies for dealing with different types of stress resulting from various types of trauma.

Who should do this course

The Course is adaptable to all audiences (Youth, Workplace, Professional Responder)


12 hours in-class OR
45-90 minutes online learning and 7 hours in-class


Psychological First Aid Instructor


  • 16 years of age (recommended)
  • Psychological First Aid – Self-Care online course (required for blended option only)


  • Successfully participate in 100% of the in-class course
  • Successfully complete the online course: Psychological First Aid – Self-Care (required for blended option only)


3-year certification in Psychological First Aid

Course Content

Case-based learning and discussion will be tailored to the audience and include the following content:

  • Introduction to Red Cross
  • Case Studies
  • Psychological First Aid
  • Operational Principles
  • Stress, Distress
  • Loss and Grief
  • Trauma
  • Indicators
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Supportive Communication
  • Look, Listen, Link, Live
  • Resiliency and Protective Factors
  • Protection
  • Policies, Legislation
  • Self-Care

Participant Materials

  • Psychological First Aid Workbook (print)
  • Look, Listen, Link, Live cards
  • Psychological First Aid–Self-Care online course (required for blended option)
  • Psychological First Aid–Caring for Others online course (optional)

How to Register for this Course

  1. Visit our course registration website at:  
  2. On the “Select Program and Category” dropdown, select “Psychological First Aid
  3. On the dropdown just below, select “Psychological First Aid
  4. Click the dropdown labeled “All Languages” and select your preferred language of instruction
  5. On the “Select your date range” dropdown, set a start date and an end date. NOTE: while online courses can be taken anytime, you must still enter start and end dates to complete the search form. 
  6. Optional: If you are looking to take online courses only, you can click the dropdown labeled “All Delivery Methods” and select “Online
  7. Optional: If you are looking to take an in-class course, type in your location in the field labeled “Enter your postal code, address or city
  8. Click the red “Search” button

You will see a list of Psychological First Aid Courses that meet your search criteria.  Click the “Take this Course” button to register.