Stress First Aid

What is Stress First Aid?

Stress First Aid (SFA) provides a framework for psychological peer support, with a set of supportive actions designed to promote self-care and coworker support. The overarching aim of SFA is to identify and mitigate the negative impacts of stress at work before they impair staff health and well-being.

SFA was initially developed under the auspices of the US military for implementation by the Navy and Marine Corps. It has since been successfully adapted for use by firefighters, police forces, and other first responders. The SFA model is based on five evidence-informed factors that help people recover from stress and adversity. These include the need for safety, calm, connection, sense of competence or self-efficacy, and hope.

Stress First Aid training is available to Schwartz Center healthcare members only.

Stress First Aid for Schwartz Center Members

Stress First Aid training is the result of a collaborative effort between the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and Dr. Patricia Watson of the National Center for PTSD. 

Stress First Aid Training

All Schwartz Center healthcare members have access to two training options for Stress First Aid:

Stress First Aid Basics

  • Available to all staff at each member organization
  • Asynchronous and available at any time
  • Consists of a one-hour presentation by Schwartz Center CMO Beth Lown, MD, plus materials and resources for creating the SFA team, introducing SFA to the leadership team, and supporting staff
  • Recommended prior to Train the Trainer enrollment
  • At the end of the course, participants will have foundational understanding of the core concepts of SFA and resources to help introduce it to colleagues.

Stress First Aid Train the Trainer

  • Offered in quarterly cohorts. The number of Organizational Teams per cohort is limited.
  • Consists of eight to twelve hours of coursework including asynchronous training, four Schwartz Center-led online meetings, and the preparation of a team project, over three months
  • By the end of the program, each team will be engaged in creating a customized implementation plan for SFA at their organization

Learn more about joining the Schwartz Center healthcare member community and membership benefits. 

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