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Stress First Aid (SFA)

The Stress First Aid (SFA) model is a self-care, leadership, and coworker support model developed for those in potentially high-stress occupations like military, fire and rescue, law enforcement, and health care. It includes seven actions that will help to identify and address early signs of stress reactions in oneself and others in an ongoing way (not just after “critical incidents”).


Stress First Aid is:

• A flexible framework that gives guidance on how to quickly assess and respond to stress reactions resulting from both personal and work stress

• A way to preserve well-being, prevent further harm, and promote recovery

• A practical tool to use whenever needed for yourself or your coworkers

The SFA framework incorporates simple, supportive actions that can be used as needed with distressed or disoriented individuals. These should be integrated into your work in a natural, seamless way. While they may involve only a small amount of effort, these actions can make a huge difference in how readily the people you work with recover from stress. Equally important, providing a more compassionate and helpful level of care can make you feel better about the quality of service you provide. SFA offers a range of basic actions to assist individuals who are experiencing reactions to stressful circumstances and helps to create bridges to higher levels of care when needed.


Upon completion of this half-day presentation, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the basic foundation of Stress First Aid.

2. Differentiate between stress reactions and stress injuries.


3. Recognize Orange Zone Indicators.


4. Describe different types of situations in which it would be appropriate to use each SFA action.


5. Explain why Check must be performed continuously and often for every member of the organization.


6. Describe the steps that make up the Check function.


7. Explain the goals of the Coordinate function.


8. Describe the spectrum of both verbal and nonverbal Cover and Calm techniques.


9. Describe the methods for performing Cover, Calm, Connect, Competence and Confidence, and the different ways of mobilizing resources for each.


10. Apply the SFA skill sets to discussions and scenarios of individuals in crisis

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