Blanco County News
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Psychological First Aid Course Offered Here
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 • Posted April 26, 2012

Some injuries don’t bleed; injuries from psychological and emotional trauma, for example.

It may be someone trying to cope with a death in the family, a child who can’t understand why a parent has gone away, or a family dealing with the loss of their home and belongings in a disaster. Or just too much of stress from too many sources at once.

An overload of stress can be just as real, and debilitating, as a physical injury, but far harder to admit, much less discuss, for fear of being labeled mentally or emotionally unstable.

Yet just as a broken bone doesn’t mean we’re physically handicapped, vulnerability to the stress of a situation doesn’t mean we’re psychologically handicapped — “crazy” to use the old-fashioned harsh term.

The American Red Cross, which recognizes the value of psychological first aid in helping disaster survivors handle their recovery, is bringing its free course to Blanco County at 1 pm Saturday, May 5, at the First United Methodist Church in Johnson City.

But disaster situations are not the only uses of this skill in recognizing the signs someone needs more than a “chin up” and a backslap, and in knowing how to intervene to provide the immediate support the person needs, and — if needed — how and where to steer the person to more professional help.

You’ll learn to notice the signs that tell what help a stressed person needs immediately, and how to provide that right level of support. It will teach how to lower the stress level for a whole group and create a low-stress environment in which everyone can function more effectively.

Will the course make you a psychologist? No more than the regular first aid course makes you a doctor. But both courses can put you in a position to help a family member, or a friend, or total stranger who is suddenly dependent on you for quick help in an emergency.

To register for a seat in this free course, contact the church office at 868-7414.

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