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Professional Trainings

Johns Hopkins RAPID Psychological First Aid

About This Program

When a crisis or a disaster strikes, the burden of psychological distress will far outlast the physical injuries.

The Challenge

In a crisis situation–whether in the home or in the community–approximately 25% of those involved will need some level of emergency psychological care. When traditional models of psychological care proved largely inadequate for such situations, a new model of intervention was needed.

The Solution

Psychological first aid (PFA) is a concept similar to physical first aid for coping with stressful and traumatic events in crisis situations and at disaster sites. PFA is recommended or endorsed by leading international health care organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Red Cross, and the American Psychiatric Association.

PFA is a learned skill, and now health care professionals, educators, employee assistance professionals, first responders, and lay people can attend a 2-day training workshop to learn the Johns Hopkins RAPID model of psychological first aid. The RAPID model is unique in that it consists of a platform solidly grounded in evidence-informed and empirically-based components designed to address the needs of individuals in acute distress, while at the same time enhancing organizational and community resilience.


Research published in 2016, demonstrated that psychological first aid significantly lowers anxiety among trauma victims.


Whether you work in healthcare, education, public safety, international humanitarian aid and relief work, religious services, or disaster response, you’ve seen people in psychological distress. Sometimes you see them one at a time and at other times it’s hundreds at a time. In moments such as these we have been motivated to offer some form of support in an attempt to ease the suffering we witnessed. Sometimes our efforts were effective, and sometimes they were not.

During times such as these, we lamented the absence of a psychological magic bullet or a verbal Hail Mary that would immediately end the suffering and lead to the realization of the promise we’d made that “everything will be OK.”

Sadly, however, there is no such psychological magic bullet, no verbal Hail Mary, but over the past 100 years, there has evolved what we now refer to as psychological first aid (PFA). PFA is an empirically-based intervention designed to mitigate acute psychological distress and assess the need for continued care.

The Workshop
  • 2-day, in-person training workshop at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore
  • Text book: The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid (2017)
  • Key presentation notes
  • Post-workshop quarterly webinars and case-discussions for workshop attendees to continue learning within a trained community

Objectives–Participants Will:

  •     acquire knowledge concerning the history and development of psychological first aid (PFA);
  •     acquire knowledge concerning the overarching Johns Hopkins model of human resilience
  •     acquire knowledge of the neuroscience and psychological foundations of human resilience
  •     acquire knowledge of the neuroscience and psychological foundations of PFA
  •     acquire increased confidence in the application of PFA;
  •     acquire an understanding of the nature and application of psychological triage;
  •     acquire an understanding of how to implement the five stages PFA with adults;
  •     acquire knowledge to enhance one’s own personal resilience;
  •     have the opportunity to participate in quarterly online webinars and case-discussions
Who Should Attend

Similar to physical first aid, PFA can be taught to just about any adult, but the RAPID PFA workshop is designed for anyone who responds to crisis including:

Public health personnel
Emergency services personnel
Communications personnel
Disaster workers
Mental health clinicians
Corrections professionals
EAP counselors
Security personnel

Workshop Trainer

The Johns Hopkins RAPID model is an empirically-based approach to psychological first aid, developed by George S. Everly Jr., Ph.D., ABPP, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

George S. Everly, Jr., PhD, ABPP is recognized as a pioneer in the fields of trauma response and disaster mental health. He holds appointments in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was formerly Chief Psychologist and Director of Behavioral Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Homewood Hospital Center.

Dr. Everly held the position of Senior Advisor on Research in the Office of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait following the Gulf War. In addition, he worked with the NYPD and the New Jersey State Police after the attacks of September 11, 2001. He is the author or co-author of over 100 published papers and 15 books including The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid (2017) upon which this program is based.

With more than 40 years of experience, he has worked in over 30 countries on six continents gaining unique “insider” perspectives on many of the events that shaped the last two generations and will shape the future.