MHPSS.net was pleased to hosting the webinar “Let’s Talk About PFA: a Conversation on the Rise of Psychological First Aid as a Frontline Response” with Leslie Snider and Ananda Galappatti. This webinar drew on the recently published Psychological First Aid: 5-Year Retrospective as well on questions and comments submitted in advance by webinar participants.
Click here to watch the webinar recording video.
About the webinar:
Psychological First Aid (PFA) has become a widely recognized and utilized frontline approach to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) for affected people in emergencies. There are now over 20 translations and it has become increasingly and routinely applied in humanitarian response.
Concerns have been raised that PFA may have its own pitfalls, including inappropriate application that attempts to extend PFA to interventions beyond the scope of its intended use. The Psychological First Aid: Five-Year Retrospective that was commissioned by Church of Sweden, and which was released earlier this year, engages with the diverse experiences and perspectives on the role of PFA in humanitarian response since the release of the 2011 publication Psychological First Aid: A Guide for Fieldworkers (WHO).
This webinar featured a conversation between Leslie Snider, the lead author of the WHO PFA Guide for Fieldworkers, the PFA Facilitators Guide and of the 5-Year Retrospective, and Ananda Galappatti, an MHPSS professional based in Sri Lanka, who has adapted PFA to diverse settings and has experience of PFA application. The duo reflected on questions from MHPSS practitioners about the application of PFA and the findings of the recent review.
Haven’t read the PFA 5-Year Retrospective yet? Download it at this link
About the Presenters:
Dr. Leslie Snider is a psychiatrist and public health professional with over 20 years’ experience in mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming and research in diverse global settings. In addition to clinical work in public mental health, she directed International Mental Health Studies for ten years at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She has collaborated with various UN agencies, governmental and non-governmental organizations in developing international programs and quality care standards for children and families affected by disasters, conflict, HIV/AIDS, poverty and exploitation, and served as technical advisor to the US government, UNICEF, and others. She developed several accessible, international resources for MHPSS in emergencies, including the UNICEF Community-Based MHPSS Operational Framework, and the Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers (WHO, 2011) translated in over twenty languages and widely used in humanitarian emergencies. She has over 40 publications and is the author of a children’s book supporting children and caregivers affected by the Ebola crisis. She is currently the Director of the Global Collaborative for Child and Family MHPSS hosted by Save the Children Denmark.
Ananda Galappatti is a medical anthropologist and a practitioner in the field of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in situations of humanitarian crisis and adversity. His work over the past 20 years has been concerned with improving access to knowledge and skills, building collaborative networks and enhancing coherence within the field in Sri Lanka and also globally. Ananda was a co-founder of the journal Intervention and continues to serve on its editorial board. He is a co-founder and co-Director of the MHPSS.net online platform. Ananda is also a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo. In 2010, Ananda co-founded The Good Practice Group, a social business for the development of MHPSS services, and he serves as its honorary Director for strategy. He is currently a Technical Advisor on Psychosocial Support to GIZ Sri Lanka. In 2008, Ananda received a Ramon Magsaysay Award for his work in the field of MHPSS intervention in emergencies. He was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.