Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed prevention strategy aimed at reducing distress and increasing resilience during and following mass disasters, including natural disasters and pandemics. PFA provides a flexible framework for specialty and non-specialty providers to support affected individuals and help them mobilize their natural, adaptive coping strategies. The Trauma Recovery Innovations program at the University of Washington has been adapting PFA to support members of the health care work force amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michele Bedard-Gilligan, PhD is an Associate Professor in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the co-director of the Trauma Recovery Innovations program. Her program of research focuses on understanding response to traumatic events, with a focus on alcohol and substance misuse, and on building and testing interventions designed to promote recovery following trauma exposure. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist and maintains an active clinical practice.
Emily R. Dworkin, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Her research focuses on trauma recovery, with a focus on identifying strategies to promote resilience and understanding the role of social relationships in post-trauma outcomes.