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Johns Hopkins RAPID Psychological First Aid

When crisis and disaster strike a healthcare facility, a house of worship, a school, a business workplace, or a community at large, there's more than physical injures that demand urgent attention. The burden of psychological distress and injury will far outweigh and outlast physical distress.

Recently Featured on DOME, Johns Hopkins Medicine online publication.

The Challenge

In the wake of adversity, large or small, it has been estimated that roughly 25% of those directly affected will be in need of some form of acute psychological crisis intervention. In addition, it has been recognized that emergency responders and healthcare professionals may also be vulnerable to vicarious stress and trauma. Traditional models of psychological care have been proven largely inadequate in such situations, however. As a result, a new paradigm was sought.

The Solution

According to the Institute of Medicine, “…there has been a growing movement in the world to develop a concept similar to physical first aid for coping with stressful and traumatic events in life. This strategy has been known by a number of names but is most commonly referred to as psychological first aid (PFA).”

Psychological first aid (PFA) has been recommended or endorsed by the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Red Cross, the International Red Crescent, the American Psychological Association, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the American Psychiatric Association. Such a rare unanimity of opinion supports the perceived need for this intervention.

Health care professionals, educators, employee assistance professionals, first responders, and individuals with no prior training can attend a 2-day training workshop to learn the Johns Hopkins RAPID model of Psychological First Aid (PFA). The model is unique in that it consists of a platform solidly grounded in theory and statistical modeling, evidence informed components, and an empirically validated clinical protocol designed to address the needs of individuals in acute distress, while at the same time enhancing organizational and community resilience.  


Psychological crisis intervention, in general, and PFA specifically have been found effective in reducing acute psychological distress.

  • Overview

    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 evidence-based intervention designed to mitigate acute psychological distress and assess the need for continued care.

  • The Workshop Elements
    • 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:
    1. acquire knowledge concerning the history and development of psychological first aid (PFA);
    2. acquire knowledge concerning the overarching Johns Hopkins model of human resilience
    3. acquire knowledge of the neuroscience and psychological foundations of human resilience
    4. acquire knowledge of the neuroscience and psychological foundations of PFA
    5. acquire increased confidence in the application of PFA;
    6. acquire an understanding of the nature and application of psychological triage;
    7. acquire an understanding of how to implement the five stages PFA with adults;
    8. acquire knowledge to enhance one’s own personal resilience;
    9. 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 Psychological First Aid workshop is designed for anyone who responds to crisis including:

    • Public health personnel as well as international aid and relief personnel Emergency services personnel
    • Communications personnel
    • Disaster workers
    • Nurses
    • Mental health clinicians
    • Corrections professionals
    • EAP counselors
    • Educators
    • Physicians
    • Security personnel
    • Attorneys
    • Clergy
  • Workshop Trainer

    The Johns Hopkins RAPID model is an evidence-informed and empirically validated approach to psychological first aid, developed by George S. Everly, Jr., Ph.D., 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 over 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.

  • Refund, Cancellation, and Inclement Weather Policies

    Registration cancellations received prior to December 10, 2018 are eligible to receive a refund less a $150 service fee. Cancellations received December 11, 2018 – February 25, 2019 are eligible to receive a 75% refund. Cancellations received February 26 – March 25, 2019 are eligible to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received after March 25 will not be eligible for a refund.

    All refund requests must be requested in writing by the registrant or credit card holder.  Refund requests must include the name of the attendee and/or transaction number. Refunds will be credited back to the original credit card used for payment. If payment was submitted by check, a check will be requested and processed for the refund.  No exceptions.

    A registration substitution can be arranged at any time without penalty.

    Johns Hopkins University reserves the right to cancel a course due to low enrollments, in which event the enrollment fees for the course(s) will be refunded. If a course is canceled, applicants are notified immediately and are processed a full refund unless another course is requested.

    Inclement Weather Policy

    • When the university is open during inclement weather, all attempts will be made to hold the scheduled program.
    • When the university is closed, the program is postponed until the alternate date provided.
    • When the university opens late, a decision will be made regarding the program as appropriate. Notifications will be sent via e-mail to all participants as early as possible.
    • Emergency Alerts, including weather related alerts, can be found by clicking the link "Emergency Alerts".

  • Hotel Accommodations

    Alternate Hotel Accommodations

    Click hotel reservation link below to make your online reservation:

    Book with our group rate for JH Rapid Psychological First Aid Training

    JH Rapid Psychological First Aid Training

    Start date: 4/24/19
    End date: 4/26/19
    Last day to book: 4/3/19

    Residence Inn Baltimore at The Johns Hopkins Medical Campus  
    $149.00 USD  per night

Baltimore, MD 21205

The Workshop Elements:

*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


April 25-26, 2019
8:00am- 4:00pm

Executive Education

Registration Fee: $850.00

Full-time benefits-eligible JHU employees may submit for tuition remission.
Download Tuition Remission Form