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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.


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!

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51 - 75 of 4,530 Reviews for Psychological First Aid

By norah m s

Apr 29, 2020

I found the instructor very condescending. The quiz questions were sometimes odd.

By Emily W

Apr 13, 2020

Dry, outdated.

By Crystal J

Oct 12, 2020

Unfortunately this course is incredibly boring. I did week one and cannot get through week two. I wanted to give it a fair shot, but it's quite obvious information on how to help those in need delivered in a cheesy and dry manner. I'm sure some might benefit from this but I want to unenroll and there is no place to do so. I tried in the app and it says go to the web version. Nowhere in the web version is there a place to unenroll (even after several google searches). It could be my browser, but it's really left me annoyed after spending so much time on it.

By Soeba K

Sep 18, 2020

Good afternoon.

I have completed the course using a promotion but I still didn't get my certificate

I would appreciate if you look into this matter and provide me a certificate ASAP.

I got more than 80% marks in each quiz but I don't know why you people didn't showed a certificate at the end of the course.

I hope you look forward into this matter and meet my demands..

Thank you

By Marcela S

Apr 6, 2020

Na descrição do curso esta escrito que o mesmo tem opção de legenda em português (Brasil), porém as legendas são somente para os vídeos e mesmo assim não são todos os vídeos (aulas), que possuem a opção de legenda em Português (Brasil). Decepcionante já que o curso é pago. Deveriam informar.

By Veronica G

Dec 16, 2021

I sent my state of Florida drivers license and took my picture my certificate says my name but when I select download it has someone elses name. Support is useless. This is the second course unable to finalize support does not resolve

By Carmen L

Mar 1, 2021

Your course is misleading for certification in PFA.

I want a refund of my $49. You are liars and money grabbers!!! I’m going to report you to the states attorney

By Khalood A

Apr 27, 2020

Very bad. They offered a free certificate during quarantine but did not deliver. Wasn't expecting this kind of non professional behavior.


Apr 18, 2020

Very superficial course

By Veronika H

Jul 26, 2020

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

Jul 12, 2020

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!.

with love,

Anu Lal


Mar 20, 2023

Learning the psychological first aid course has been very beneficial to me. In this course, I learned how to recognize and deal with psychological emergencies, including how to communicate with people who have suicidal tendencies, how to comfort those who are feeling low, and how to handle anxiety and panic attacks. Through this course, I gained a lot of important knowledge about mental health and acquired practical skills that can help me better assist others.

Firstly, I learned how to determine the urgency and importance of a psychological crisis. In the course, I learned a lot of basic knowledge about mental illness and psychological issues, which enabled me to identify mental health problems more easily and help people recognize and handle psychological emergencies, ranging from low moods, anxiety and panic attacks to more severe cases like suicidal threats.

Secondly, I learned how to communicate effectively with people in psychological emergencies. In the course, I learned how to listen to others, understand their needs and feelings, and provide them with positive feedback and support. I also learned how to express my own views and suggestions effectively in order to help others cope with psychological crises.

Finally, this course gave me a deeper understanding of mental health issues and how to prevent and deal with them. By learning how to handle psychological emergencies, I am better able to help myself and the people around me maintain good mental health.

Overall, learning the psychological first aid course has been a valuable experience that has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of mental health issues and how to identify and deal with psychological emergencies. These knowledge and skills will stay with me for life and enable me to better assist myself and others in coping with mental health issues.

By Dawei L

Jun 28, 2020

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 Eszter P

Mar 28, 2024

I am about to be a Forest Bathing Therapist, and that's why i needed this course. I had to do this quite rapidly as i have little children and i could never know when would i find time. Honestly it was a lot to take emotionaly. The course was very well built, very reflective, highlight and help you deepen the most important thoughts. If you let it in... The only suggession i would add is my Mom and my sister are working as mental coach, helping in processing loss, pastoral caretaker. My sister recently realised she use this technic of talking nearly every relationships in her life. It is not only a learned technic for her, she discovered it her self somehow as her self protection. But now she realised many of her relationships are unequal, they expect her to listen and be there for them, to be involved too deep in their life, but it is a one sided relationship, they don't care for her that much. Now she is working on it to change it. The only thing i wanted to say as a mental first aid practice it is amaizing! Also learn to really listen people and just be there is something what everybody should learn who works with people. But in our friendships we should feel to be listened too and i think for people who do it as a life style sometimes could be challenging. I am very thankful for all this knowledge, however i will use it in a different field. I wish people who feel burned out by helping others would come to my Forest Bathing groups to get relief.

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 BasicallyStitch

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 Maike B

Sep 22, 2021

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

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 Eoin B

Sep 29, 2021

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 Renata B

Apr 23, 2024

Gostaria de dizer que o curso é excelente, com ótima didática. Os vídeos são de excelente qualidade, a legenda ajuda muito, assim como as traduções. O conteúdo também é muito bom. A forma empática que o Dr. Everly direciona o curso é contagiante. Tenho, apenas, duas sugestões: a primeira seria de incluir no curso aulas relativas a crianças, adolescentes, idosos e pessoas com necessidades especiais. Entendo que alguns detalhes diferenciados relativos a estas pessoas devem ser pontuados e esclarecidos. O segundo, seria maravilhoso que pudesse ser disponibilizado algumas vagas para curso presencial na Universidade John Hopikins com o Dr. Everly. Seria extremamente rico. Eu gostaria muito de obter este tipo de experiência. Estou cursando o Doutorado e minha Tese é sobre PFA, aqui no Brasil, Primeiros Socorros Psicológicos. Grata pela oportunidade de fazer este curso maravilhoso e de poder expor minhas sincera opinião. Renata N. Bueno.

By Stace P

Feb 24, 2023

Like the characters in the simulations I lost everything i owned last year, my belongings, home, job, truck, and my education was put on hold with only 8 classes left in getting my bachelors degree in psychology. left with just the clothes on my back, and this was just days after seeing and being the only witness to the jayland walker shooting by akron police. I wasn't offered help, and still haven't been approached. Being a psychology student though and having been close to almost every kind of loss available I decided to stop wallowing in depression and start taking classes to further my knowledge in psychology.

So this course without my knowing what the content would hold touch home for me, and has helped me work through a lot of my own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. I want to thank Johns Hopkins for this class and Coursera for offering free courses for persons like myself.

This is definitely a 5 star course