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Psychological First Aid for children and young people

Public Health England has released a newly developed online training course on Psychological First Aid (PFA) for supporting children and young people in emergency and crisis situations.

The online course offers training for staff and volunteers on how to provide practical and emotional support to children and young people affected by emergencies or crisis situations. As you will be aware, children and young people can be very resilient, but crises such as COVID-19 can severely impact their mental health. Getting the right support early on can help prevent problems occurring or worsening.

By releasing this course, we hope to build on the successes of the adult PFA Covid-19 course released last year which has attracted over 100,000 sign-ups. This version is written specifically for those who work with, or come into contact with children and young people.

We are very grateful for the input and advice of a range of experts, government and charitable organisations who have helped develop the course, including: NHS England, the Anna Freud Centre, the Department for Education and emergency response experts such as Dr Lynne Jones OBE and the British Red Cross.

The course is available for all frontline workers such as teachers, health and social care workers, charity and community volunteers and anyone who cares for or is regularly in contact with children and young people aged up to 25, including parents and caregivers.

The course takes about three hours to complete (split into three sessions that the learner can complete at their own pace) and no previous qualifications are required. The course is free to complete, but please note that there is an option to receive a certificate for £32 once users have completed the course. You do not need to buy this certificate to complete the course modules.

On completion, participants will have an understanding of what Psychological First Aid is, be able to identify who would benefit from support and how best to give help across the different age groups and also for those who might need extra support because of different needs.

For further information, please email:

Public Health England