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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Psychological First Aid by Johns Hopkins University

15,500 ratings
3,848 reviews

About the Course

Learn to provide psychological first aid to people in an emergency by employing the RAPID model: Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition. Utilizing the RAPID model (Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition), this specialized course provides perspectives on injuries and trauma that are beyond those physical in nature. The RAPID model is readily applicable to public health settings, the workplace, the military, faith-based organizations, mass disaster venues, and even the demands of more commonplace critical events, e.g., dealing with the psychological aftermath of accidents, robberies, suicide, homicide, or community violence. In addition, the RAPID model has been found effective in promoting personal and community resilience. Participants will increase their abilities to: - Discuss key concepts related to PFA - Listen reflectively - Differentiate benign, non-incapacitating psychological/ behavioral crisis reactions from more severe, potentially incapacitating, crisis reactions - Prioritize (triage) psychological/ behavioral crisis reactions - Mitigate acute distress and dysfunction, as appropriate - Recognize when to facilitate access to further mental health support - Practice self-care Developed in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Open Education Lab....

Top reviews

Dec 19, 2019

Great structure and interactive format. Clear expectations and excellent materials. Subject was explained in an effective manner that was easily understood and applied. Very useful for any profession!

Oct 12, 2020

this opened my mind towards intervention needs in a catastrophic event. something like this is required more than ever now. the content of the course was very good and thorough. very nicely explained.

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51 - 75 of 3,820 Reviews for Psychological First Aid

By Angela M

May 17, 2020

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

Apr 29, 2020

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

Apr 20, 2018

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

Sep 12, 2020

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

Mar 20, 2021

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

Jul 7, 2020

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 Dawn R

Jul 24, 2020

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 Alison L

Feb 22, 2021

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

May 25, 2021

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

Oct 8, 2020

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

Aug 23, 2020

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.

George Everly

By Alan V H

Feb 24, 2021

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

May 8, 2020

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

Jul 10, 2020

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

May 9, 2018

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

Apr 22, 2020

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

Jun 13, 2020

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

Jul 11, 2020

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

May 1, 2020

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.

By Joshua A

May 11, 2020

This course provides detailed explanation about R.A.P.I.D. in Psychological First Aid (PFA). How do we do this step by step and to whom should we help during crisis/adversity/disaster.

It's very important to me to take care and help ourselves first before helping others so that we won't become the victim. Prof. George Everly beautifully simulate the scenarios which one should we avoid and which one should we do.

I'm a veterinarian currently living in Indonesia and i'm very grateful for taking this course. I've been participating in Global Health True Leaders and the theme was "Disaster Management". Participating in this course further increase my capabilities in responding the adversity as a veterinarian and as a citizen.

By Dannica S

Sep 13, 2020

This is a course that everyone needs to learn - it is a life skill. Psychological First Aid model by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health is taught in a compassionate and supportive manner by Dr. Everly. The course is well-paced and comprehensive. In our pandemic-stricken world of today, trauma and injuries go beyond the physical which we are all vulnerable to. Relearning this critical skill is more important than ever, everyone is undergoing stress and a sense of unhinging - PFA greatly helps us cope effectively. The same way that we perform first aid at the onset of a physical emergency, PFA is applied to feel what other people feels by active listening and cultivating resilient communities built upon hope.

By Sophie A K

Jun 29, 2020

Kept my mind occupied during Covid-19! This course includes very relevant and insightful content - and is taught by someone with a lot of experience and knowledge in the field!

A lot of the things discussed stick in my mind. Dr. Everly talked about the thought-provoking that link he can say he found after visiting many different countries: the link between resilience and having a belief that there is something out there greater than themselves. It got me thinking about the people in my own life and also about the power of religion within PFA.

Thank you for this opportunity! Thoroughly enjoyed the course. I really liked both the lectures and demonstration videos - everything was all very clear and concise!

By Sneha D

May 30, 2020

I always have believed in the idea that different people have different experiences due to different reasons and different situations. Everybodys way of understanding things and way of giving meaning to things is very subjective. No two people are the same.

We might think we know what someone's feeling or what they mean when they say they're depressed or they're anxious or anything but in reality, we don't because the words such as these have very subjective meanings. What it feels like to be depressed for me might be very different from your idea of it. This course just validated this idea for me and taught me so much more than just that. Honestly, this has been such an amazing enriching experience.

By Ching M J M (

Apr 30, 2020

Thank you very much for this very useful and meaningful course. I have learned a lot from this course and I am more confident after taking this course. I am very glad that this course taught me how to use the psychological first aid to approach people who are in need of help in acute distress situations. Other than that, I can also apply the knowledge that I have gained from this course as a way to keep myself on track when I encounter such situations. This is a course that not only teaches us how to use psychological first aid to help those in need, but also serves as a way to boost our own resilience as we learn. I feel stronger, and more confidence after taking this course, thank you.

By Rashidul K K

Jun 22, 2020

This is the very first course I have taken on Coursera and I am so happy that I did. Coming from an Marine Engineering background I must say it was completely new field for me. Dr. George Everly's lecture has been simply amazing and I enjoyed watching his lecture thoroughly. His explanations and the way he organised the slides made grasping the idea easy and that kept me motivated. I am sad the course ended but I am optimistic that I can apply what I have learnt in my life, be it work or personal. I will definitely gonna read up on the book recommended by Dr George Everly. I strongly recommend this course from Johns Hopkins, if you are interested in Psychology, you will not regret it.