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

19,200 ratings

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


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.


May 22, 2020

I am very happy and satisfied with the course program. In fact, I am excited to apply what I have learned and also looking forward to enroll in another course. Thank you for this learning opportunity!

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26 - 50 of 4,530 Reviews for Psychological First Aid

By Leslie

Sep 16, 2017

What a fantastic and informative course. I found the role play most effective, it was very helpful watching George respond to an individual experiencing crisis. The only suggestion I would make is perhaps having a more challenging, less resilient role than Gina. As admirable as her optimism and relative ease at finding a home (with her Aunt), it would be interesting to see the same process played out with someone who might not be as resilient as Gina or have access to family support. Dr. Everly was truly wonderful, although I have not experienced a trauma such as many displaced people have, I knew if I did, I would want someone like George around - what a compassionate and caring person. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to learn from you. Leslie

By Anna H

Apr 13, 2020

Very well-prepared, easy to understand course on psychological first aid. With the set of skills gained in this course, you will not only be able to adequately help someone in times of disaster as a psychological first aider but also in day-to-day interactions, whether at work or in school.

Think of applying bandages to psychological injuries, effectively.

By Pui M C

Apr 12, 2020

The references to videos for the mistakes I made during the quiz were totally wrong. I understand they are beta-tested, but they misled, that's the point. And the guidance in getting the right responses to the quizzes is absent. I wonder if which is the bigger problem - the interface of the course, or that some quiz items are just unclear and ambiguous?


Aug 21, 2020

This course really helps understanding a lot of topics related to psychology, and mostly, know how to act and help other people that are in distress following a disaster or emergency. Professor George Everly knows how to make a class really interesting. The course is very well done: the materials, the classes and even the way everything is structured. Thanks for everything learned!

By Aditya S

May 26, 2020

Awesome course!

The modules per week are designed really well and are very easy to understand.

The thing I liked the most about this course was the 2 ways (the correct and the incorrect way) situations can be tackled with.

Overall the mentor was awesome and explained everything the best way possible!🔥

By Brenda S

Apr 14, 2020

Well done. George is a natural story teller. He helped make the lessons personal and relatable. The examples were well acted. I believe this lesson will help me with situations I may likely part of in the near future.

By Grace C

Jun 5, 2020

This course was wonderful, enjoyable, and helpful in my learning and development of skills. The load of work per week was reasonable, and the material engaging and applicable. Thank you, Dr. Everly!

By Hannah G

May 7, 2020

Very informative with a platform that made learning easy and enjoyable. I would definitely suggest this course if this subject interests you. Can also be completed within 2 days of constant work.

By Conor M

Jun 11, 2019

Fantastic course! It really provided the foundation to understanding PFA and it's application in helping people who are in disequilibrium following a stressful/traumatic event.

By AlexTarriba V

Mar 26, 2019

I enjoyed the course! Specially the videos. It made it much easier to understand how a conversation can go and how to handle it.

By Gordon S

Oct 10, 2020

Excellent course -- except for the tests. Although I passed all courses on the first try (I do have a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology), there were questions on the first test that asked us to regurgitate unimportant statistics from a meta-analysis mentioned in passing. Other questions on other tests expect us to have magically absorbed material that was never presented in any lectures or simulations. (For example, on the last test we were expected to know that chronic fatigue is a symptom of burnout, even though it is not among the nine symptoms of burnout listed in the lecture.) The professor has obviously not looked at the tests in a very long time, nor has he proof-read the "transcripts" of his lectures (where, for example, we read the word "queues" when what he said was "cues," among numerous other mistakes). Overall, the tests do a poor job evaluating whether or not the learner has grasped the key concepts and procedures that are the most important parts of the course. There are too many "GOTCHA!" questions, apparently dreamed up by some sadistic graduate student, designed less to assess than to confuse. As such, the tests could very easily "gaslight" the learner into believing that she or he has not learned these concepts and procedures, the very ones the professor intends for the learner to absorb, when in fact the learner HAS absorbed them! The fact that the course, according to the professor, is designed for firefighters and police officers and others without any background in mental health, only increases the probability of this "gaslighting" effect. These four tests are, to put it kindly, sub-optimal.

By Maxine M N

Oct 27, 2016

This was a good course filled with great information and various techniques I think are useful in everyday life as well as in disasters. I do feel like the concepts could have been explained better and I would have liked more elaboration on certain things that are in the assessments. I struggled quite a bit in the assessments, especially with questions regarding the simulations with Gina. I felt like I had a good understanding of what was being taught until did my assessments and received a low grade. I personally would prefer if things were slightly more spelled out for us so that there is less to intuit. I also prefer reading the transcripts along with watching the videos as I learn better that way, but I don't feel like the transcripts for this course were written well or had good grammatical structure. I often had to go over things many times, or refer again to the video, to understand certain points. For example, I feel that in transcripts it's unnecessary to always directly quote each and every word being said by the speaker like the following, "...and, and, you know, this is, this is something very important..." but rather typing "...and you know, this is something very important..." would make as much sense and be easier to read and digest.

By Apitchaya A

Jun 11, 2021

The content itself is already very useful and engaging. It's could be very hard to understand since it's about psychology; it's human mind, yet the professor's teaching is truly good. I love the way he's teaching and speaking. A missing star is that I want to see the explanation when finish the quiz. It's just sometimes I want to know the reason of the correct answers. If you can update this function It'll be appreciating.

By Katelynn C

May 6, 2020

A lot of the lectures felt repetitive; the ability to skip half of the lecture material and still receive a perfect score on the assessments is concerning, because I would prefer that time spent learning NOT be spent listening to constant repeated information.

By Jared E

May 10, 2018

It kind of sums up to "Don't be a jerk. This is how you don't be a jerk."

By Meredith T

Mar 29, 2021

The information is useful but the course could use many improvements. First, lecture slides are incredibly text heavy and the voice over simply reads this to you. This is not engaging and it is power point 101 to NOT fill your slides with text. Second, the quizzes include questions that don't relate to any of the lecture material and are worded in a very convoluted way. I copied text from the text question and went back and searched the entire course and did not find those words or phrases. Worst of all, when you get a question wrong in a quiz, they don't tell you the correct answer. There is no explanation at all of why the answer was wrong. You can re-take the quiz but again are just randomly selecting an answer without understanding why a particular answer is right or wrong. This is another basic tenet of being an educator - help students understand their mistakes and how to arrive at the correct answer. I've taken Mental Health First Aid trainings through my employer and my city and they are MUCH better, more engaging, easier to follow, more useful.

By sarah c

Jun 24, 2020

This course gave me invaluable insight into Psychological First Aid , it gave me a starting block into online education. I would like to thank all involved in this course not only for opening my mind to how essential Psychological First Aid is, but how engaging the course itself was and how it was superbly executed. Thank you so much.

By Aeryll K C

May 26, 2020

Absolutely educational and fulfilling!

By Helene a

Jun 3, 2020

Very, very good course. The teacher did a marvelous job with this course, the understanding behind it, and the wrong and right way to address a situation with excellent examples of how saying certain things can have a bad outcome. Only thing I think would have made it better, or more interesting would be more student-to-student assignments, and some peer discussion with personal examples. But I am really glad I took this.

By Elliott J

Apr 7, 2020

Pros: Great content taught by a well-educated professor. Demonstration videos were done well. Good for active learners to introduce them to topics they can research further.

Cons: The visuals could use work. The majority of the vital information is presented as a slideshow with uniform text. I also found some of the quiz questions a little verbose and/or unclear.

By Alvin K

Apr 18, 2020

The course was ok. It was a bit esoteric rather than providing practical based information and this was reflected in the evaluation techniques of the quizzes.

By Maygan G

May 20, 2021

hard to get through, good information

By Hari I

Sep 9, 2020

This is good course & useful for natural disaster time but based on free offer(Coursera Together: enroll today and get this course for free.Your discount will be applied automatically at checkout. Offer is subject to change and valid through 12/31/20.) I've completed this course & obtained 97% Marks too but iam not able to retrive my certificate, asking for payment. Iam waiting my review marks reply.

By Jordan C

Feb 12, 2024

I like the content I think it's important. I don't understand how I complete the course without paying for it, I completed all of the videos and surveys that were needed. I think if you are going to offer a free course you still need to be able to complete it 100%.

By Yuka N

May 30, 2020

Many disasters hit marginalized groups disproportionately yet the course didn’t take any sort of diversity, equity, inclusion elements into consideration (self awareness of the first responder and their privilege, etc.)