A wonderful course with clear explanations and case scenarios to help reinforce learning. I was truly engaged throughout the course and felt like I learned a lot more than I anticipated when going in.
A very helpful course and full of practical information for persons interfered with disaster relief and crisis intervention as this course has a well- planned syllabus and really informative vignettes
By RAJ S•
Very superficial course
By Veronika H•
A great introduction to the concept of RAPID, or may I say RAPID(S):
Building rapport with the person you're trying to help, assessing the needs, prioritizing the needs, intervening to stabilize or mitigate distress, checking how they are doing / following up, and lastly, there's a lesson on self-help so that you can help people long-term and not e.g. burn out.
All of these steps of RAPID(s) are explained in more detail in the course. There's also a simulation video of what the process can look like, which accompanies the whole course and ties it together nicely. There's also videos of how not to do it. I found the quality of the videos/acting to be almost perfect, and certainly excellent! :-)
I can not praise the instructor enough, his long experience in the field has certainly honed his social skills, like compassion and connecting with other people. That comes through in the lectures and intro videos as well as the simulation. It's a helpful to have someone to look at and think: "This is how I could also be one day, this I could strive for."
Content-wise, the lectures are to-the-point and not too long, sometimes I would have liked more detail but mostly they were just right for me.
The tests are brief and aim at you understanding the core concepts and knowing some relevant data. The questions can be quite specific, so you need to pay attention to details throughout the course, however, it is only details actually relevant to the topic that you need to know.
I got a sense that this course was compiled in a thoughtful and "heartful" way. Some minor room for small improvements aside here and there, overall, I found it a course of an outstanding quality content-wise, and of significant helpfulness for me, who was wholly new to the topic.
I'm glad I took the course, as it was the right decision for me, and I feel significantly better equipped than before to help others. I now have a solid basic understanding and a useful overview of Psychological First Aid. In order to feel confident about my abilities in this area, I'd have to practize the things talked about, though, which an online course of course can't do. Which is to say, as far as the course goes and can go, five well-earned stars!
By Anu L•
I am from Kerala, India. In my country, psychological first aid [PFA] is just a fancy term. On the wake of disasters like megafloods, earthquakes and other natural and man-made calamities, financial and medical aid is provided by the state and central governments. Usually, there is no acknowledgement of the 'surge' that happens after a disaster. I have understood it from personal experience during the megafloods in Kerala in 2018. Although I was not a direct victim of the floods, I tried to contribute to the displaced and the disaster-stricken demographic. This experience gave me the insights that PFA is non-existent in these contexts, here. The medical team at a disaster spot would ideally treat the physical ailments of the people, the officials would mitigate the financial losses of the people, there is no reference or acknowledgement of the psychological trauma an individual undergoes during these calamities. There is no one-on-one care to the individual who undergoes the ordeal. I wrote a book titled LIFE AFTER THE FLOODS: REFLECTIONS ON KERALA FLOODS, which was published in 2019 by Kalamos Literary Services in Delhi highlighting these issues and the necessity to provide a mental support system to the victims of calamities.
The PFA course run by Johns Hopkins University is a boon to people from my place, for health workers, first responders and others. I found it as an answer to the many questions I raised in my book Life After the Floods. I am especially in love with the lectures given by Prof. Geroge Everly. His compassionate eyes have the power to teach us how to help others and to help ourselves.
This course offered me a highly valuable tool to deal with individuals who are facing psychological challenges during a disaster. This gave me the confidence to be a first responder in the wake of a calamity.
Thank you JHU and Coursera for arranging this masterful course for us!.
By Dawei L•
As a teacher, I accidentally signed up for this after I googled inclusion for education and special education. When saw what Dr. Everly was presenting, I immediately grimaced. But, I re-framed my thinking. God willing I would have to go through a disaster like Parkland or any other traumatic experience, and I hope I never would have to use the skills learnt from this course in any setting. However, in dealing with teens, a lot of situations may seem distressing. Although trivial to adults, a lot of problems to teens are magnified. So it is important not just for PFA but also anyone who works with people to go through phases of RAPID especially reflective listening and not offer responses designed to quickly solve the problem. In addition, it is also important to recognize we need to "self-care". I have met educators who take on the burden of students' personal issues too seriously and enter into unhealthy living habits. It is important to care for people, but establish boundaries. In addition, it is also important to get an assessment and not steer students(I have met teachers who have tried to steer students to talk about issues which were personal and incredibly traumatic without knowing how to be a facilitator of being part of a 'next level' of help. ) into answering questions which may open the proverbial Pandora's Box. This was overall a good course and it is not only for one profession. It permits help and compassion without crossing boundaries which can exacerbate situations.
By Angela M•
This course is apt right now, in a time when first responders are being pushed to the max every day, and when many humans across so many countries are being impacted by Covid. I was interested at first because of my own experience with anxiety and PTSD--birth trauma, mainly--but also for my work as a support worker in Special Education who routinely works with kids who are either reliving trauma or are living it daily. I wanted to take this while on lockdown to maximize my time, distract myself in a proactive way from the news at hand, and come away with new "tools in my toolkit". Interestingly, I've gotten to use some of the RAPID techniques already with former coworkers. I think this course is extremely well-structured, highly informative, and practical. I appreciated all of the models but particularly appreciated the one on self-care--a thing I have had to learn, and continue to do so, to manage PTSD. I can't emphasize strongly enough myself how vital self-care is--whether it is meditation or prayer, proper sleep and/or an eye on healthy eating, finding that friend/family member/coworker to confide in or rant to--it's the case of, to use the airplane safety analogy, "giving oneself the mask first". Thank you for a fabulous course!
By Terreea W•
Considering we are in the middle of a Pandemic which caused me to take the course in the first place. I was very glad I did. I and my Security staff still had to come into work, even though our buildings are empty. when I started this course I started talking more in dept with my staff to make sure they were OK during this trying time. They opened up to me about their fears and what they and there families were going through. I also started talking to my own family and finding out things that are going on with them also. This course helped be to see where I could help them and also if anyone needed more assistance then what I could give.
With my staff I did reach out to my Director and with her assistance we made sure any staff that needed help with the stress got it. With my family members we talked and talked until they seen what they needed and they reached out for the help they needed and I am following up with them.
Me I also did the self help part, because I did ID the fact that I was hearing a lot of stressful things from others and I identified it was effecting me. So I found someone to talk to me (My husband and Pastor). I got a lot out of this class and will be looking for more to take. Thank you
By Tatiana E S•
This course was very valuable for me.
1 - The course professor has a great personality. He is a great storyteller. He looks kind, warm and understanding. He pointed out the importance of respect and tactfulness and I believe these are both his professional and personal values. He is an inspiration.
2 - This course is well-structured, detailed, easy to understand. It has extremely valuable simulation videos with "flawed" and "correct" examples of emergency responder work. It has a documentary of a real disaster with interviews of real people to analyse. These amazing video materials make the knowledge more profound and practical.
3 - The lectures are great. I listened each lecture for 3-4 times and found new depths each time I was listening.
4 - I may recommend this course to those who experienced disaster, as I believe being well-informed about this topic makes you feel stronger and more resilient. As a crisis survivor myself I enjoyed the course and it brought me a piece of mind and strength.
5 - I am grateful, that this course is an "open" course, by which I mean that you see the result of your test and can work on your mistakes. This is a life-saving course, so it is great that full knowledge is available.
By Stella O•
It is an excellent course on psychological mental first aid because it is very detailed. The vignettes are excellent and help in explaining RAPID method of John Hopkins University. They helped in explaining the concepts very well. The instructor was excellent in explaining the concepts and the vignettes exceedingly very well. I have had resiliency courses and this shows a different side of resiliency training. The most poignant aspect of the training is that people who help people do not conduct Self-Care. This training emphasizes Self-Care in detailed form and shows how essential it is for everyone, most especially people who care for others. I am very happy that I took the course. I have never paid attention to Self-Care until now. This is because it has never been explained as well as Dr George Beverly, Jr. in this course by using it as "Dr. George Beverly, Jr's Burn-out Club" . This is a brilliant idea on Dr. Beverly Jr's part to drum in the importance of self-care with the aspect of the club. This method hits 'home' for everyone. It brings self-care front and center to people's mind and way of doing things. Well done on his part.
By Salvatore D S•
Johns Hopkins University's "Psychological First Aid" by
George Everly, Jr.
is a useful, introductory resource for identifying and using this methodology during emergency resource surge moments. This course features weekly slideshow lecture recordings, demonstration videos, and multiple choice exam assessments. For learners sensitive to descriptions of natural disasters or human death, they may want to skip this training. For learners seeking information about this non-clinical methodology, either as administrators or practitioners creating or implementing a program, this course is an excellent overview of the labor involved as well as practitioner outcomes assessment. I particularly appreciated the pedagogical design to practice new skills in steps. Initially, during the introduction, a "good practice" demonstration is provided before weekly dissecting the elements of "good practice". First, slideshows describe high-order issues. Next, a "bad practice" example is performed. Then, learners are invited to identify and describe bad practice. Next, "good practice" is modeled and summarized.
By David H•
I have taken my share of First Aid courses, and have trained with my local Emergency Responders to become a Community Emergency Responder. I've also taken additional training to help with Emergency Communications. However, I am all too aware that the psychological impact of a disaster can be tremendous. I want to be best able to help my family, my neighbors, and my greater community, when disaster strikes. I've lived through Loma Prieta, and I had responsibility as a Resident Assistant, and we were poorly prepared. Thankfully, there was no physical harm to any in my care, but this psychological piece was missing for me, and for my residents, and my fellow staff. And, I can do what this course asks. My biggest problem in a local emergency will be the lack of a robust public health infrastructure, so I will need to work with my sponsoring agency to see about our referral resources, for those needing more care. And, the section on self care is important, as I will be likely impacted by any disaster where I deploy since I am a CERT member, a member of the Community. Thank you sir.
By Maike B•
Great course for everyone wishing to help people in times of crisis. I myself am a trained nurse who had also been helping refugees in Calais/ France in 2015 together with other volunteers from all of Europe - I wish the information in this course would have been available both to students of nursing and volunteers begofe deployment. Considering my background the course level was at some points too simple for me, but that is to ensure people with any form of background can follow it. Also, due to own health issues of mine which have made it impossible for me to keep working as a nurse and to take part in interventions in recent years it took me more than a year to finish this course, so it is has been quite a challenge for me. One that reactivates my optism since I see that I can still study even onder this circumstances and who knows one day I might be able to help others again thanks to this course. I want to thank the John Hopkins University for providing this course on Coursea, open to everyone.
By Dawn R•
The course content was excellent, covering some brief but adequate background on theory (for this level of course), and well-grounded application. Some additional videos would be helpful, utilizing other actors and scenarios, but I realize the course needs to be completed within a certain timeframe, and I'd rather -for the most part- the content be emphasized.
For the Discussion Forum, it would be nice for the Mentors to occasionally jump in and provide some questions and discussion points to foster more critical thinking.
I felt that some of the quiz questions didn't accurately reflect the lecture or video material. And, for the set-up of the course shell, it would be handy to include a link for the PowerPoints in the menu on the left side of the screen.
I appreciate having the textbook available, which provides a more comprehensive accompaniment to the course and can be kept permanently after completion of the course.
Overall, a very good experience. Thank you!
By Eoin B•
I really enjoyed this course and learned so much about how to deal with crisis scenarios and helping others in their time of need. Huge thanks to Coursera for hosting this course and Johns Hopkins University for providing the material. Thanks also to Dr. Everly for leading this course and everyone else involved in mentoring in the discussion forums. Unfortunately I did not get much of a chance to interact with my classmates but I will contribute to this community going forward and I hope it grows into something beautiful and becomes a powerful movement. Finally the most important people even though they may not see this, thank you to Psych2Go for directing me towards this course. i would have never found it otherwise and it has certainly been worthwhile. I hope it can enrich my life going forward by sharing the lessons I have learned here with others. I look forward to crossing paths with some of you again in the future. Thank you and take care, Eoin Barrett
By Alison L•
I found Dr. Everly to be a great teacher and I really looked forward to this course each week, even though it has the least to do with furthering my career out of the courses I'm working on currently. I had a degree in psychology, so I'm not exactly the intended audience, and I did know a fair amount of this information coming in, but I knew it in bits and pieces. It was a nice refresher (I earned my degree nearly a decade ago) and an opportunity to keep my psych skills alive, as well as learn about psychological triage. I wanted to take the course because I figured it would be useful if ever put in a situation of adversity myself or in being able to aid friends and family when they encounter adversity. I think this course will help me do that, and heaven forbid I should ever be near enough to a traumatic event that it would be helpful, I'd feel comfortable volunteering to help with PFA as necessary.
By Fatima L•
The course is actually quite an excellent rudimentary introduction to PFA and the RAPID model. It may disappoint those seeking a much more detailed presentation of the stages in PFA ie reflective listening, assessment and prioritisation, etc. The course focused on the PFA practitioner's ability to establish a real connection with the survivor through a very basic primal understanding of compassion. This may be trivial or obvious for many, especially those with psychology backgrounds, but I cannot express enough how lacking this is amongst so many in the field. I have seen psychologists and psychiatrists tell me things such as "I wouldn't want to be in your shoes" and "I think you need some medication" while in extreme psychological crisis. It's incredible that what we call basic, rudimentary, is not that easy after all. I am very happy with this course and I am proud that I have completed it.
By Jayne G•
Having worked 30 years in the airline industry, I assisted with a number of incidents. This course would have been so helpful to have. I recently retired as a Resource Manager, fostering relationships with many new generation & diversified workers. I also worked as a "Care Partner" with the company in assisting with any accidents or incidents, as well as with Employee Assistance representatives within the company and truly enjoy working with people. I have been able to work on my active listening skills, something that certainly did not come naturally! But it's been instrumental in allowing me to take a compassionate approach with colleagues, friends, co-workers and my kids! Thank you for allowing me to take this course. I have learned so much more! I will be recommending it! And hope to put it into practice in the days, weeks, years to come :-)
By Arvind G•
I am too much fortunate to complete this wonderful course. It was a great opportunity to me to get enrolled in this PFA course. I enjoyed this course a lot. I learned so many tools and techniques from PFA which is very much important to handle our PTSD. After completing the PFA course I have got the confidence to help people in traumatic situations by using the Johns Hopkins RAPID. This course is very useful for me and my students. I can take 'Self Care' by this course. The course Mentor George Everly is outstanding. His subject knowledge and narration technique is amazing. Course videos and assignments are so simple to understand. Anybody can solve it easily. Thanks to George Everly and Johns Hopkins University for providing such a wonderful course. I am going to complete my next course under the guidance of George Everly.
By Alan V H•
The course was fast paced, efficient and thorough. The RAPID model is efficient and wastes not time in getting the student into "go-mode". This is an entry point to PFA and not the final word. The course book, 'The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid" is excellent and the student would do well to buy and read it BEFORE taking the course rather than afterward, as I did. I took two coursed from Dr. Everly 10 years ago and have two comments. First, the model, acronym and supporting materials are much improved but buy the course book and read his other articles and writings-many are on the internet. CLERGY-read his book, " Pastoral Crisis Intervention"! Second, learn the content but don't miss l Dr. Everly's voice and manner. These are equally important to the process of PFA.
By Alexandra K•
I LOVED this course. I liked the fact that is was simple, the key concepts were well explained and I didn't get tired at all. One of my favorite parts of it was that, although the main theme is something so serious, Dr. Everly had such pleasant teaching methods. To be more precise, the "wrong" simulations at some point made me kind of giggle and I think that it's a very effective method and its main points will stick to my mind. Also he generally has a very good sense of humor that he showed at certain moments. Lastly I really liked that there were real interviews from people that experienced a disaster, so that we realise that although we're taking a theoritical course right now, these skills can be truly helpful and needed in a real situation at sme point in the future.
By Corina H•
I really loved taking this course! This was my first time taking an online course, and I found that it was much better suited to my needs as a student than a traditional classroom setting. It was also very accessible for someone who hasn't been in school for over a decade. Dr. Everly's lectures were clear, concise, and relatable, and the progression of the course was very well paced. Concepts were outlined several times, but without feeling overly repetitive, and I found them easy to understand and retain without being too simplistic. I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who's interested in learning ways to support others in the wake of a crisis, or even how to better care for their own mental health and overall well-being when dealing with stress.
By Emelie S•
I thought this was a fantastic course! It was well organized, well presented, and appropriate for the target audience. The simulation videos presenting "how-to's" and "how-not-to's" were a great addition. I believe this course would be valuable for everyone, regardless of field or occupation, if they think they would like to be active in community response and support volunteer efforts during local disasters. It is even helpful on a personal level, as the skills introduced here, such as active listening, are valuable in all personal interactions. I am also glad the course ended on self-care, which is so important, especially in this context. I really enjoyed the course and believe it will be a valuable reserve of information for when I may need it in the future.
By Ilisha D•
The course was incredibly informative as well as engaging. The nature of most of the topics covered is such that role-playing and an offline course would be most beneficial. Keeping this in mind I feel that the simulations used for the course were especially helpful as they were able to significantly reduce any gap or shortcomings due to the course being online. Having a background in psychology, I feel confident in putting the skills that I learned in this course to use. In my opinion, for someone without a background in this subject, the terms and concepts were quite well explained. An advanced course on this subject, perhaps with higher instructor/mentor interaction could be beneficial for those who want further clarifications or training. Thank you!
By Timothy K•
I found this course while browsing the interwebs looking for things to learn. As far as an 8 hour online class goes, this is worth every minute. It moves fast, and has the meat and potatoes of what you need. (Or if you're not a fan of meat and potatoes analogy, the salad and the roasted tofu.)
Active listening, and psychological first aid, is not just a responsive practice. It should be part of your tactical toolkit. The fact that PFA can make as big as impact as it does means it gets people to where they can be with a little more ease. Think of the impact that can make on someone who is trying their best, and got one more step ahead because you were there to help.
Consider the class. Get the certificate if you can.
Thanks, Doctor Everly and Johns Hopkins!
By Rolando C d l R I•
I would like to sincerely thank Dr. George Everly Jr. and John Hopkins University for giving me this opportunity to learn!
I did not realize that I am already giving PFA to my fellow citizens when I joined and volunteered at UP Diliman Psychological Services. I am able to help around 30 people between the months of April and June, and I am glad to have been affirmed through this course that what I was doing is okay. My key take away here is “the best way to care for others is to care for yourself” - this is so much true! I have to keep my weekends off, because even if it is just online counseling, having around 4-5 people talk to you about their concerns can be very exhausting.
Thank you once more! God bless you! Stay safe and healthy!
By Frank F•
Excellent course, I liked the breakdown of how and why each of the steps work. I'm a CERT and have taken our PFA basic training, in-person class, and on-line class. This class was much more detailed. I've also taken the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) classes, which are similar and have overlap. I'd recommend that people take this class, the MHFA, and whatever PFA training you can find through your organization. Why all three? Because they overlap, yet each covers something unique. My only gripe is that the links didn't work right in coursera, I kept getting lost - some times, the video would be just blank (so I read the transcript below). I'm using Firefox on a Windows PC, maybe this works different in different browsers.